During the day, Native Americans have used parts of medicinal herb in medicine and food, and many people in the South have put the fruit in pies, you need to be careful about how to use pokeweed berries to avoid toxic reactions. Therefore, home gardeners should identify what is pokeweed in order to help prevent accidental ingestion by pets and children. Once identified, it is best to learn how to get rid of pokeberry plants, which are tenacious growers, which rise up to three meters in height.
Pokeweed or Pokeberry (Phytolacca americana) is a native plant that grows in disturbed soils, such as fields and pastures. The plant is dangerous for livestock and all parts of the plant are considered toxic. It is a perennial plant with a red, woody stem. It boasts long oval leaves that can be up to ten inches long.
Greenish flowers appear between July and September and yield to bunch of grapes similar to berries. While the fruits have been used in traditional medicine and in cakes, they are full of compounds that cause unpleasant physical reactions.
It is best to know how to get rid of pokeberry plants to prevent ingestion by children. Small quantities generally do not harm adults, but the plant is full of several toxic compounds. The roots are the most toxic, but all parts of the plant are generally unsafe.
The leaves increase in toxicity with maturity but the juvenile foliage has been part of salads for generations. They need to be boiled twice, with a change of water each time to make the leaves safe for consumption. Berries are the least toxic, but it is wise not to ingest them if you do not know an adequate preparation.
Manual removal for common control of the sucker requires the gardener to dig deep and extract the entire taproot. Shooting is unsuccessful because it leaves behind roots that regenerate. If you do nothing else, remove the fruits from the plant before they spread. The plant can produce up to 48,000 seeds, which remain viable in the soil for 40 years. Birds seem unsupported by berry toxicity and enjoy the fruit, planting seeds wherever they are expelled.
Usually it is necessary to use chemicals to control phytocepin as the taproot is fleshy and extends deep into the soil. Chemical products for phyto-virus control work best when the plant is young. Apply glyphosate directly to the leaves of the plant to kill it. This works through the vascular system and while it takes a while to see the results, the chemical eventually reaches the roots. Other chemicals for pokeweed control are dicamba and 2, 4 D. Use spot applications on plants as they appear in your garden.
If you have some of these plants growing on your property and you are feeling adventurous, you can try using berries in a cake. A safer use for the fruit, however, is like an ink or a tincture. Crushed berries produce a huge amount of juice, which was once used to color lower wines. The juice will also dye the fabrics in a deep crimson or fuchsia color.