Pokeweed/pokeberry question...bullseye!

Michael L Roginsky d_micro at ix.netcom.com
Sun Aug 25 16:18:50 EST 1996

In <321A34E8.7190 at america.net> Annette & Scott Ranger
<ranger at america.net> writes: 
>gregory scot robins wrote:
>>  We are trying to grow Phytolacca americana L. (Pokeweed or
>> Pokeberry) in the greenhouse.  However, we are not having much luck
>> getting the plant past the flowering stage.  The leaves are dying
off in
>> mass and the whole plant looks bad. The soil mix is peat: top soil:
>> vermiculite (2:2:1) with a little perlite added as well.  We have
>> fertilized lightly with 20, 20, 20 Peters Salt solution.
>>         Any advice regarding the cultivation of this plant would be
>> appreciated.
>>                                         Thank you
>>                                         Greg Robins
>>                                         Wake Forest University
>This plant is nearly a noxious weed in my yard and vegetable garden. 
>Birds deposit seeds constantly, and as a result I'm constantly pulling
>up poke shoots, but MANY make it to flowering and some to fruiting
>with NO HELP from me or anything else. 
>SOOO, my first GUESS is that your soil mix is too good!  Poke grows
>well in nearly 100% clay, so I'd back way off on the soil lighteners
>go with an overwhelmling proportion of top soil.
>My second guess is that it's not getting enough light.  Poke thrives
>direct sunlight and when I find it in various degrees of shade, the
>plants are definitely more spindly.  Many greenhouses don't have
>anything near the equivalent of direct sunlight.
>My final guess is that it's getting too much water.  Soil mixes like
>mention and greenhouses usually equal LOTS of water spray.  So maybe
>it outside and let rains do their thing.
>BTW, for what reason are you growing it?
>Scott Ranger
Scott my man you got a bullseye for that. Are you a botanist or just a
redneck like I? Ever had poke salad? Try! Collect young leaves, rinse,
boil twice changing ater, add some vinegar soaked in cut habanero
pepers and have a kingsly meal. If you like spinach, aspargus and
collards......it will taste like the mix! Poke is poisonous when
uncooked, I suspect salicilic acid. The roots, very white, contain most
of the chemical. This is akin to a root eaten in south america as bread
substitude (Amazon region, no wheat). It is called manioc.
Cheers.........Micro, alive, and not a microbe.Re: Dr. julius Heinis,

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