Frequently (and not so frequently) Asked Questions
BRIEF: Are Pokeweed berries poisonous?
I was out looking for experts on poisonous plants (wow, there has been a lot of study in ag. on the pokeweed (Phytolacca americana). I am hoping you can answer my question or perhaps lead me in the right direction. From what I have read, the plant and roots are extremely poisonous to mammals. What about the berries? Are they a good food source for birds, in particular? I have a HUGE plant that is a volunteer in my flowerbed and hate to yank it out if it has any value at all. Beside it's a beautiful plant that gets me all kinds of compliments. If they only knew it is there through no effort on my part.
This whole plant is poisonous including the berries and seeds although: 1) Southerners have boiled the leaves and after changing the pot liquor a few times, eaten the greens. 2) The berries have been baked into pies without any recorded trouble. I wouldn't try either one, myself. It is a pretty plant, but children have been poisoned from eating the raw berries and severerely poisoned eating the root. Your call!