Phytolacca americana 'Silberstein'
Bright-speckled variation of this common weed (see my weed page for the plain species). Out of many seedlings started last year, just one survived, and hasn't attained much stature yet. Which is good, because it gives me some time to ponder where to place this pretty weed.
||variegated American pokeweed; speckled poke
This plant used to grow in our garden, but it slipped away...
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|L. Ayres||Jun 20, 2010||Just curious why you would want to grow this weed, known to be highly toxic|
Well, for one, this is a rather more ornamental plant than the common weed, one which I've admired in others' gardens. But beyond that, the plain species is a native plant, useful to wildlife; its new leaves and stems can be eaten as an asparagus substitute, if suitably prepared to remove the toxic substances (which admittedly I haven't tried). So many commonly grown ornamental garden plants are toxic that I don't regard toxicity a reason not to grow a plant. But all that's moot - I do weed out any common pokeweed that pops up, and my single 'Silberstein' specimen did not survive - so our garden remains pokeless.
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July 25, 2009