FOTD – September 26 – Jimson Weed — It IS pokeberry — and it’s still poisonous.

I know we passed J, but I felt these pictures needed a home. There big purple berries grow everywhere this time of year. The birds eat them as do the other creatures. I am fairly sure the deer eat them too. Only for people are they poisonous.

Birds, squirrels, woodchucks, and other small woodland creatures eat it. Some people eat it anyway, believing it’s medicinal. However, to the best of my knowledge it has no medicinal value. I do not recommend eating it, not even a small amount.

Beware the resemblance between these berries and elderberries. These have thick red-purple stems. Elderberries don’t.

There’s a lot of argument about exactly HOW poisonous these berries are, but the berries are the most poisonous part of the plant. All of the plant is poisonous. As is probably true with most poisons, how much will kill you is a mystery. Everyone’s body has a different response to poison. There is some discussion about how much would do you in, but no one will argue about it’s ultimate lethality. It all depends on your individual tolerance for that poison.

Do you really want to be a test subject? If you want to mess with it, I’m told it makes a good purple dye but you know what, though rubber gloves are strongly recommended. As for me? I’ll still skip it.

Regardless, why would you intentionally consume a known-poisonous salad green voluntarily? Grow some kale. Grow lettuce. Have a nice, non-poisonous salad.

Categories: #Flowers, #FOTD, #gallery, #Photography, Cee's Photo Challenge, Flower of the day, wildflowers

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11 replies

  1. I can’t say that I’ve seen it, if I did, I had no idea. Great photos you two. 😀


    • I thought it grew everywhere. I guess not. But it IS a weed, so I don’t think anyone would grow it intentionally. It makes a really interesting photo with all those luscious-looking purple berries. And they are climbers, so you see them mostly on fences and gates.

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  2. A well timed post for me, Marilyn. I read about Jimson Weed in a book I’m reading. Apparently, it has halogenic properties, but it is a poison.


    • It might indeed make you hallucinate, but if you use a bit too much, it can also make you dead. I think I’ll skip it. But boy, it sure does look tempting, doesn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

      • It is very pretty. I seem to recall that brightly coloured berries are often poisonous and the colour serves as a warning in nature.


        • I never heard that, but I’ve always been very hesitant to put anything in my mouth if I don’t know exactly what it is. I had a friend (as an adult) who nearly died from eating just two berries from a deadly nightshade plant. She wasn’t even thinking about it — just popped them in her mouth — and they nearly killed her. Just TWO little berries.

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  3. We call that pokeberry.

    Liked by 1 person

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