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.