Still Life in Stick Season
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American Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana), not particularly common here in central Vermont, with fruits poisonous to us (but not to birds), glowed during my walk this morning above downtown Montpelier.
The correct word is “Sallet” or “salet”. Using the word “salad” has gotten people into some trouble (usually young Californians). You can NOT eat it raw. These leafy greens are **only** eaten after blanching in ***AMPLE*** water for a few minutes, rinsing, squeezing and then frying up. Some people will use minimal water over 2 or 3 blanchings. Prepared, it has a lot of vitamin C (more than raw oranges) and a lot of vitamin A. The leaves are harvested only while actively growing. I’ve never tried but some harvest the early shoots like asparagus but those should be treated the same way since they are also toxic.
Cardinals really love the berries.
Love the photo. It will be just sticks soon. Hope snow is on the way. To answer Robert’s question, above: Yes, it’s the same plant. But only the new, tender shoots that “poke” up out of the ground in the spring are considered to be SOMEWHAT edible, after being blanched in boiling water 3 times. All parts of the plant are considered toxic, however.
Perfect proof that there is a lot more than black and white in our Vermont winters……thank you for reminding us to keep a look out for these surprises.
Now I know what that is! Thanks!
In Alabama, people often ate what was called “poke salad.” I know it was a seasonal green leafy vegetable, growing wild. I this the same thing?
No clue. Sorry, Bob. I’ll try to look into it. But I wouldn’t eat these berries.
Yes, it is the same plant. Apparently it becomes toxic as it matures, but the shoots in spring are a regular salad item in the south in the spring.
Nicely composed, Bryan! Beautiful color contrast!
Thanks, Barbara. They really jumped out at me. Shot this with the Panasonic.