Sunday, October 30, 2011

What the Heck?!

Our mailbox is the old fashioned kind.  No community locked boxes.  It’s out at the end of the driveway under a telephone/electric pole.  Up at the top of that pole many different birds perch, eat, nest, and do their business.  As a result, many different varieties of plants sprout as volunteers.  Palm trees are the number one offender that get yanked out whenever I see them.  Mulberry and pecan trees have also taken root only to be removed.  Even peppers have been brought to this spot by my avian friends.DSC_2247_7135A bushy type plant sprouted this summer and I’ve been letting it develop because I really don’t know it’s identification.  Anyone have an idea?  Here’s some clues:DSC_2246_7134The berries form in clusters.  They start out green on pink stems.  As they develop they turn dark purple.  A smashed berry stains the concrete below.DSC_2244_7132Almond shaped leaves are abundant on this shrub.DSC_2249_7137What the heck do I have here?  Blueberries?  And what should I do with whatever it is?

This just in:  The mystery plant has been identified as Pokeweed.  It turns out that Pokeweed is extremely dangerous/poisonous.  I went out and yanked it from this good Earth and tossed it in the green waste to be picked up tomorrow.

And now I can’t get the song Poke Salad Annie out of my head.  Thanks for the ID everyone.

Enjoy Tony Joe White AKA the Swamp Fox.



Who knew this mystery plant/weed could lead to so much entertainment. 


dorothy said...

You know to me they look like elderberries. I don't know if they grow in your part of the valley, but they grow up near Oakhurst and Shaver Lake. Not on the valley floor that I know of. Let us know if you get an ID!

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Looks like it could be a pokeberry to me, and if so, they cannot be eaten by humans unless you get the really young leaves and I think you have to boil them several times in fresh water each time. It's hard to tell without seeing the whole plant, they grow all over our place. We live in such different climates you might have something similar looking.

Green Zebra Market Garden said...

Yep, that's pokeberry. It's a weed. Ideally you should pull it out and put it in the garbage before the fruits ripen (too late), but you can probably still pull it out if you're careful not to drop fruit on the ground.

Green Zebra Market Garden said...

P.S. It can also be used to make dye.

ValHalla said...

Birds love it--it is actually quite pretty in full bloom and fruit, but it is not native to west coast, so probably best that you pulled it. (and if course if kids would be tempted to eat it.)

Glennis said...