FIND ALLERGENIC PLANTS IN YOUR
Plants of Florida
an allergy book that describes weeds, grasses, trees and shrubs
from which the extracts are made that allergy doctors in Florida
use for testing their patients. Help allergy sufferers identify
and avoid the plants that cause their symptons.
Pokeberry,Poke Salad, Pokeweed, Inkberry, Pigeon berry, Coakum,
identify this plant in the field, look for the purple-red
stem that intensify as the plant gets older. The deep
purple, almost black, of the ripe berries is also characteristic.
One of the most poisonous plants in the United States because
people eat the leaves without proper or complete boiling, or
may accidentally pull up the roots by the leaves, the plants'
chemicals can be absorbed through the skin.
This plant should not be handled without wearing gloves. Raw
berries (over 10 berries) when ingested, are very toxic, but
when used in pies are harmless. In spite of the danger, the
plant is often cultivated as a pot herb. Roots and fruits are
sometimes used as a source of drug for medicinal purposes, its
usefulness is questioned.
It is also poisonous to livestock .Ingestion of the root, raw
leaves, purple stem, or raw stem is followed immediately by
burning of the mouth and throat. In two hours symptoms appear
in the form of nausea, severe abdominal cramps, vomiting, diarrhea,
sweating,salivation, visual disturbance, weakness,spasms, convulsions,
and death due to respiratory failure within 24 hours or else
rapid recovery is then likely.
Synonym: Phytolacca rigida
Common names: Poke, Pokeberry,Poke
Salad, Pokeweed, Inkberry, Pigeon berry, Coakum, Garget,
Origin: North and Central
Habitat: Open fields,
roadsides in waste places, disturbed and cultivated
Range: Texas to Florida
and North to New England, Southern Quebec to Southern
Type: Herb from Storage
root, becoming somewhat woody: WEED
Flowers: Small in multiple
clusters, white or pinkish
Season: Summer and Fall
Fruit: Green, ripening
through red to black, fleshy
parts especially rootstock, berries (raw)
(a resin), phytolaccine (an alkaloid) and a saponin.
Also a lectin with mitogenic properties.