What is this plant?
August 3, 2014 9:09 AM   Subscribe

This plant suddenly appeared in my community garden/allotment. It has sprays of tiny white buds, that open into tiny white flowers with five petals. Inside there's a small green fruits (?) that look like small tomatoes and have grown to about 6mm-7mm (about 0.25 inches). Any ideas what it is? - Thanks!
posted by carter to Home & Garden (6 answers total)
Best answer: It's pokeweed.
posted by Metroid Baby at 9:14 AM on August 3, 2014 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Yay, five minutes! Thanks, Metroid Baby!
posted by carter at 9:19 AM on August 3, 2014

My mom and all her family eat it, they call it poke salad in Alabama, though apparently you should cook it carefully.

Wikepedia: "Young pokeweed leaves boiled three times to reduce the toxin, discarding the water after each boiling, results in "poke salit" "poke salad", or "poke sallet",[18][19] and is occasionally available commercially. Many authorities advise against eating pokeweed even after thrice boiling, as traces of the toxin may still remain. All agree pokeweed should never be eaten uncooked. The cultural significance of poke salad is referenced in the 1969 hit song "Polk Salad Annie", written and performed by Tony Joe White, and famously covered by Elvis Presley, as well as other bands such as the El Orbits of Houston, Texas. Poke sallet festivals are held annually in Gainesboro, Tennessee; Blanchard, Louisiana; Harlan, Kentucky and Arab, Alabama."
posted by stormygrey at 12:40 PM on August 3, 2014

I used to squish the berries to paint on rocks when I was a kid. You should make ink!
posted by oomny at 12:41 PM on August 3, 2014

Just a note, the plant will get very tall, and spread aggressively, and the berries stain like crazy once they turn purple. I would take it down if I were you.
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:16 PM on August 3, 2014

Response by poster: I'm on it ...
posted by carter at 4:32 AM on August 4, 2014

« Older I Want To Learn About Bands, Please Help Me!   |   I'll take Palo Alto in the early 90s, Alex Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.