Friday, November 22, 2013

pokeweed


The pokeweeds, also known as pokebush, pokeberry, pokeroot, poke sallet, polk salad, polk salat, polk sallet, inkberry or ombú, comprise the genus Phytolacca, perennial plants native to North America, South America, East Asia and New Zealand. The generic name is derived from the Greek word φυτόν (phytos), meaning "plant," and the Latin word lacca, a red dye. Pokeweed contains phytolaccatoxin and phytolaccigenin, which are poisonous to mammals. However, the berries are eaten by birds, which are not affected by the toxin because the small seeds with very hard outer shells remain intact in the digestive system and are eliminated whole.

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