Saturday, September 29, 2012


I used to blame the appearance of the lurid purple splodges that show up on my car this time of year on birds bingeing on ripening Syrah grapes and then dumping their highly pigmented excreta onto my unsuspecting vehicle's paint-job.  I now know that the source of the purple-black splatter is instead courtesy of my feathered friends scoffing down the berries of Common Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana).
In the southern states, young pokeweed shoots are prepared and consumed as a vegetable despite the fact that the plant contains, amongst other harmful compounds, oxalates that can be fatally toxic to humans.  Also known as inkberry this is a relatively tall plant, much taller than me, whose foliage has a rather objectionable pong.
Thank goodness there is only one pokeweed growing in Vinoland, otherwise there would be no room for vines, dogs or anything else for that matter.  And I can't imagine what else would get peppered by poop!


Thud said...

What a charming plant, nature has a sense of the absurd.

Vinogirl said...

Thud: So do people. Imagine bothering to prepare something to eat that is potentially life threatening!