Join Our Email List
Meet Frank and Louise Wilmot Frank, 72, is a retired engineer who enjoys gardening, fishing, and shouting at the television. Louise, 68, is a retired middle school teacher who likes … Continue reading →
Pokeweed is the common name used to refer to the poisonous plant Phytolacca americana. The berries of this plant are often referred to as pokeberries.
Pokeweed is a perennial plant that grows in fields, damp thickets, open woods, along roads, and sometimes as a weed in yards or gardens. It ranges from 3 to 10 feet tall, with reddish or purple stems and green leaves up to a foot in length. It has white flowers that bloom from July to September and shiny, dark purple berries.
While some people eat pokeweed after boiling it multiple times, or use it as an herbal remedy, this is not recommended due to the plant’s toxicity. All parts of the plant are poisonous to both humans and animals, but especially the root. The plant is poisonous both to eat and to touch.
Eating any part of the pokeweed plant can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps. These symptoms may take as long as 2 or 3 hours to appear. In severe cases, these symptoms can lead to dehydration.
Mouth irritation and drooling are also possible symptoms.
Skin contact with pokeweed may cause skin irritation, such as a rash.
If someone has eaten part of a pokeweed plant:
Last Updated: Tuesday May 17th 2022