Alien plant appeared in Croatian garden

Henk Veldman H.Veldman at
Mon Sep 7 08:37:30 EST 1998

LIPA wrote:
> Please help me solve a riddle.
> An unknown plant has grown in the garden of


> Lipa

Phytolacca americana; Pokeweed

The roots are the source of pokeweed mitogen or pokeweed agglutinin,
used in some tissue culture techniques.
The plant was introduced from America and is now quite widespread in
western Europe, in gardens and parks, the seeds being dispersed by birds
like blackbirds that eat the fruits and in doing so produce terrible
deep purple fecal stains around the house and on cars etc.
I never heard that people eat the fruits (and I did not taste them). It
is said that the young shoots are edible as a vegetable.
The dutch name (karmozijnbes) translates as crimson berry and I think
the berries were indeed used for dyeing.


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