Of all the “weeds” that appear in my yard, the poisonous pokeweed is one of my favorites.
I love the look of the plant… the fleshy stems and leaves… the deep purple-black berries with fuchsia calyxes.
I also like that it grows in terrible soil. I have a feeling that pokeweed is a nutrient accumulator, though I can’t say for sure. Its habit of inhabiting waste areas makes me think so.
Whatever it is, I like to spread the seeds around my yard by clipping the berry stalks from the plant and chucking them here and there.
I’m asked regularly about pokeweed’s edibility. The answer is yes, with proper preparation; however, they’ll make you really ill if you screw up. I still haven’t eaten any, but Green Deane does and relates his method here.
I let pokeweed plants get big, then chop them back to use as mulch/compost around my fruit trees. One day I might get around to eating them, but for now… I’ll just enjoy their strange beauty under less life-endangering conditions.