The picture to the left of Poke is an example of the plant
being found in mid to late summer. In the spring when shoots
are young, they are edible and choice. They are better boiled
and served with butter or vinegar. The author has frequently
eaten Poke salads without any problems.
The berries are NOT EDIBLE. Although one may view many birds
eating these berries which contradicts the myth that what
birds eat will be safe for humans. The roots and the base
of the shoots are toxic. Caution must be used when picking
Poke. If there are any signs of the stalk tinged with red,
which is the color of the root, one should not eat this. Symptons
of toxicity are usually abdominal cramping, diarrhea and vomitting.
These symptons are usually self-limiting and rarely, if ever,
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