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Can you ID this plant? Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)

 
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I have this growing in my Hugel bed that I never covered with soil because I didn't actually dig the pit.

I had a tree that was growing in a 10 diameter pit that went down about 4 feet, said tree died and was chopped up for cordwood. I've since relocated some other rotting logs and a bit of soil that was on and around them to these pit to bring it up 2 feet above level.

Can anyone identify the plants I have growing here?

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/6muYDvQe26IUi0nkJcuDztMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=directlink

 
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Location: Beaver County, Pennsylvania (~ zone 6)
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That is Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) it has poisonous berries but you can eat the young leaves boiled in a change of water. I eat them with butter and salt and find the taste comparable to asparagus.
 
Kevin Swanson
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Isaac Hill wrote:That is Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) it has poisonous berries but you can eat the young leaves boiled in a change of water. I eat them with butter and salt and find the taste comparable to asparagus.



Thanks for the reply Issac. I plan on chopping and dropping this and covering with some top soil and then doing a winter cover crop of oats, barley and field peas(will wear long sleeves and gloves as it can cause dermatitis). With the toxic nature of the plant would anyone have concerns leaving it under the top soil and growing food crops on top?
 
Isaac Hill
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That sounds good. There's another thread somewhere around here where people have been talking about using it as a dynamic accumulator, there's no reason to worry about it's toxicity. Just don't let any children eat the berries and you should be fine. BTW the berries make and excellent dye.
 
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Actually you can use the berries as a "tonic or blood purifier" , just start with 1 the 1st day, 2 the 2nd and so on up to 7 days and then the same thing in reverse.
 
Isaac Hill
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lori paup wrote:I think it is red elder, Sambucus racemosa.



It's poke.
gift
 
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