Mystery fruit?

Discussion in 'Plants: Identification' started by Mr. Biggs, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. Mr. Biggs

    Mr. Biggs Member

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    What is this plant? My cousin came by and grabbed a bunch of the dark purple fruits. He's still living but I want to know if the berries are edible!

    Thanks!
     

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  2. Tyrlych

    Tyrlych Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Phytolacca americana.
     
  3. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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  4. pathe

    pathe Active Member

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    http://www.cancer.org/treatment/tre...ivemedicine/herbsvitaminsandminerals/pokeweed

    It's doubtful anything will come of it, unless the seeds were crunched in quantity. The berry flesh isn't poisonous, it's the seeds. The seeds are tiny, shiny and hard and pass through the digestive system intact. In fact, the plant is commonly spread by birds that pass the seeds through their digestive systems. I don't have the specific source, but I heard that it's necessary for the seeds to first pass through the digestive tract in order to insure germination. Also, swallowing whole pokeberries daily over a few weeks has been practiced for at least a hundred years (if not more) as a folk treatment for rheumatism and arthritis. Jams and wine are also made from the berries, and the young shoots are commonly eaten as a pot green. That said, the plant is still poisonous (especially the root and red parts) and one shouldn't ingest any part unless they know what they are doing or under the supervision of someone who is knowledgeable about this plant.

    If your cousin crunched the seeds (I don't know how many is too much) he should seek medical attention, especially if feeling ill.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2013

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