Phytolacca americana

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Phytolacca americana, appearance of the full herbaceous perennial plant, late in annual season, showing stems, leaves green and red, and flower/fruit structures (dark masses in read leaf clusters).
Phytolacca americana
Pokeberries.png
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Phytolaccaceae
Genus: Phytolacca
Species: P. americana
Binomial name
Phytolacca americana
L.

American Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana), or simply pokeweed, is a native herbaceous perennial plant of significant toxicity that is considered a semi-succulent[not verified in body] and that is large, growing up to 8 feet (2 metres) in height. A member of the Phytolaccaceae, or pokeweed family, it presents simple leaves on green to purplish stems proceeding from a large white taproot; it bears flowers, green to white, that are followed by purple to almost black berries, which are a good food source for songbirds such as gray catbird, northern mockingbird, northern cardinal, and brown thrasher, as well as other birds and some small animals (i.e., to species that are unaffected by its human toxins).

P. americana or pokeweed—also known as pokeberry, poke root, inkberry, Virginia poke or simply poke, or as pigeonberry, redweed, or red ink plant, or, in Chinese medicine, chui xu shang lu—is native to eastern North America, the Midwest, and the Gulf Coast, with more scattered populations in the far West.[not verified in body] It is considered a major pest species by farmers,[not verified in body] and that and the danger of human poisoning—its significant toxicity and its risks to human and animal health are consistently reported, with the whole of the plant toxic and increasing in toxicity through the year, with children at particular risk of its very poisonous purple-red ripe fruit—support arguments for eradication of P. americana. Even so, it is used as an ornamental in horticulture, and it provokes interest for the variety of its natural products (toxins and other classes), for its ecological role, its historical role in traditional medicine, and for some utility in biomedical research (e.g., in studies of pokeweed mitogen). In the wild, it is easily found growing in pastures, recently cleared areas, and woodland openings, edge habitats such as along fencerows, and in waste places.

Gallery[edit]

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Flower buds, unopened
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Flower stage
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Young fruit stage
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Ripe fruit (berry) stage
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Berry clusters
Progression of reproductive organs, from flower to ripe fruit stages.

General description[edit]

Pokeweed is a member of the Phytolaccaceae, or broader pokeweed family, and is a native herbaceous perennial plant,[1] a semi-succulent[citation needed] that is large, growing up to 8 feet (2 metres) in height.[1] It presents branches, sometimes several, growing from the crown of a thick, white, fleshy taproot, each a "stout, smooth, green to somewhat purplish stem;" simple, entire leaves with long leafstalks alternate along the stem.[1]

Pokeweeds reproduce only by its seeds (large glossy black, and lens-shaped), contained in a fleshy, 10-celled, purple-to-near-black berry "with beautiful crimson juice;" the fruit develops from perfect, regular white or green flowers with 4-5 sepals absent petals that,like chokecherry develop in elongated clusters termed racemes.[1][2]

Birds are unaffected by the natural product pharmacopeia contained in the berries (see below),[citation needed] and eat them, scattering the seeds, though they are also found adventitiously in commercial seed (e.g., vegetable seeds packets).[1] The berries are reported to be a good food source for songbirds and other bird species and small animals unaffected by its toxins.[3] Distribution via birds is thought to accounts for the appearance of "single, isolated plants" in areas that had otherwise not been populated by pokeweed.[1]

Other names[edit]

P. americana is known as pokeberry,[1][4] poke root, [4] or inkberry,[1] also as Virginia poke or simply poke,[4][5] as pigeonberry,[4][5] or redweed or red ink plant,[5] or, in Chinese medicine, chui xu shang lu.[4][6][7][8]

Toxicity, poisoning, and mortality[edit]

The information with regard to the overall and significant toxicity of this plant and the risks to human and animal health it poses is consistent and pervasive.[1][9][10][11][12] In summary, with regard to distribution through the plant: the poisonous principles are found in highest concentrations in the rootstock, then in leaves, and stems, and then in the ripe fruit,[9] the plant generally gets more toxic with maturity,[11] with the exception of the berries (which have significant toxicity even while green).[12]

With regard to human and animal (pet and livestock) toxicity, the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) staff scientists note that "[a]ll parts of common pokeweed are toxic... Roots are the most poisonous, leaves and stems are intermediate in toxicity (toxicity increases with maturity), and berries are the least toxic."[11] With regard to human poisoning they note:[11]

"Children are most frequently poisoned by eating raw berries. Infants are especially sensitive and have died from eating only a few raw berries… Adults have been poisoned, sometimes fatally, by eating improperly prepared leaves and shoots, especially if part of the root is harvested with the shoot, and by mistaking the root for an edible tuber. Research with humans has also shown that common pokeweed can cause mutations (possibly leading to cancer) and birth defects. Since the juice of pokeweed can be absorbed through the skin, contact of plant parts with bare skin should be avoided."

As summarized by Michael D.K. Owen, for the Iowa State University Extension Service:[1]

"Most authorities regard the plant as poisonous… Humans have been poisoned by eating parts of the root, which is the most poisonous part of the plant. Children are often attracted by the bright crimson juice of the berries and can be poisoned by eating the berries...

If death occurs, it is usually due to paralysis of the respiratory organs… Because of the danger of human poisoning, pokeweed should be eradicated when discovered. This is especially true if the plants are in hedges, gardens, and other areas adjacent to a home where children may be attracted by clusters of berries."

A further well-referenced web reference on the toxicity states that pokeweed is to be avoided during pregnancy and notes that "children consum[ing] even one berry" requires that "emergency poison treatment… be instituted"; in terms of general exposure, it notes "plant sap can cause dermatitis in sensitive people" and that "it is strongly recommended that the people wear gloves when handling the plant."[13]

Regarding pet, livestock, an other animal poisoning, Owen notes that "[b]irds are apparently immune to this poison" and that [a]nimals usually do not eat the plant because of its bitter taste."[1] The OARDC scientists echo the lack of animal palatability, and note that "most animals avoid eating it unless little else is available, or if it is in contaminated hay. Horses, sheep and cattle have been poisoned by eating fresh leaves or green fodder, and pigs have been poisoned by eating the roots."[11]

Human deaths resulting from pokeweed consumption are currently uncommon,[citation needed] but cases of emesis and catharsis are known,[citation needed] and a child who consumed crushed seeds in a juice is reported to have died.[citation needed] Historically, pokeweed poisonings were common in eastern North America during the 19th century, especially from the use of tinctures as antirheumatic preparations and from ingestion of berries and roots that were mistaken for parsnip, Jerusalem artichoke, or horseradish.[14]

See the Natural products section for specific information about the known toxicities of the constituents of the plant.

Symptoms and response to poisoning[edit]

Owen of Iowa State further states:[1]

"If taken internally, pokeweed is a slow acting but a violent emetic. Vomiting usually starts about 2 hours after the plant or parts of it have been eaten. Severe cases of poisoning result in purging, spasms, and sometimes convulsions. If death occurs, it is usually due to paralysis of the respiratory organs. Cases of animal or human poisoning should be handled by a veterinarian or a physician." [emphasis added]

The OARDC staff scientists note that immediate and subsequent symptoms of poisoning from pokeweed include "a burning sensation in the mouth, salivation, gastrointestinal cramps, and vomiting and bloody diarrhea," and that depending upon the amount consumed, more severe symptoms can occur, including "anemia, altered heart rate and respiration, convulsions and death from respiratory failure."[11] If only small quantities of the plant or its extracts are ingested, people and animals may recover within 1 to 2 days.[11][15]

Habitat and range[edit]

Per Owen of Iowa State, pokeweed "[u]sually… grows in rich pasture lands, in recently cleared areas, along fencerows, and in waste places and open spots in woodlands."[1] It is broadly distributed in these places and in fields, and is usually found in edge habitats.[citation needed]

It is adapted to coarse or fine soils with moderate moisture, high calcium tolerance but low salinity tolerance, pH tolerance from 4.7-8.[citation needed] The plant grows well in sun or shade, and readily survives fire due to its ability to resprout from the roots.[citation needed] Pokeweed seeds do not require stratification and are dispersed by berry-feeding birds.[citation needed]

Pokeweed is found in most of the United States, except the northern plains states, and the "Mountain States, Alaska and Hawaii".[original research?][this quote needs a citation] In recent years the plant appears to have increased in populated places.[citation needed][4][not in citation given][16][not in citation given]

Morphology[edit]

Plant Type:[citation needed] Perennial herbaceous plant which can reach a height of 10 feet (3 metres), but is usually 4 feet (1.2 metres) to 6 feet (2 metres). However, the plant must be a few years old before the root grows large enough to support this size. The stem is often red as the plant matures. There is an upright, erect central stem early in the season, which changes to a spreading, horizontal form later in the season with the weight of the berries. Plant dies back to roots each winter. Stem has a chambered pith.

Leaves:[citation needed] The leaves are alternate with coarse texture with moderate porosity. Leaves can reach sixteen inches in length. Each leaf is entire. Leaves are medium green and smooth with what some characterize as an unpleasant odor.

Flowers:[citation needed] The flowers have 5 regular parts with upright stamens and are up to 0.2 inches (5 mm) wide. They have white petal-like sepals without true petals, on white pedicles and peduncles in an upright or drooping raceme, which darken as the plant fruits. Blooms first appear in early summer and continue into early fall.

Fruit:[citation needed] A shiny dark purple berry held in racemous clusters on pink pedicels with a pink peduncle. Pedicles without berries have a distinctive rounded five part calyx. Fruits are round with a flat indented top and bottom. Immature berries are green, turning white and then blackish purple.

Root:[citation needed] Thick central taproot which grows deep and spreads horizontally. Rapid growth. Tan cortex, white pulp, moderate number of rootlets. Transversely cut root slices show concentric rings. No nitrogen fixation ability.[4][not in citation given][13][not in citation given][better source needed]

Natural products[edit]

Various sources discuss notable chemical constituents of the plant.[17][full citation needed][better source needed] Owen of Iowa State University notes that the "entire pokeweed plant contains a poisonous substance similar to saponin" and that the "alkaloid phytolaccine also occurs in small amounts."[1] Heller at the National Library of Medicine notes the two natural products, the alkaloid phytolaccatoxin and phytolaccagenin, as contributing to human poisoning.[9] The Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System echoes the information about phytolaccine and phytolaccatoxin.[10]

Other toxic components include triterpene saponins based on the triterpene genins, phytolaccagenin as noted, and jaligonic acid, phytolaccagenic acid (phytolaccinic acid), esculentic acid, and pokeberrygenin,[18] and phytolaccasides A, B, D, E, and G, and phytolaccasaponins B, E, and G.[19][non-primary source needed][20]

Triterpene saponins isolated from the berries of pokeweed uncharacterized as to toxicity include esculentoside E; and phytolaccasides C and F, and oleanolic acid, and 3-oxo-30-carbomethoxy-23-norolean-12-en-28-oic acid.[18] Triterpene alcohols isolated include α-spinasterol and its glucoside, α-spinasteryl-β-D-glucoside, and a palmityl-derivative, 6-palmytityl-α-spinasteryl-6-D-glucoside, as well as a similarly functionalized stigmasterol derivative, 6-palmityl-Δ7-stigmasterol-Δ-D-glucoside.[18] Other than starch and various tannins, other small molecule natural products isolated from pokeweed include canthomicrol, astragalin, and caryophyllene.[18]

Proteins of interest include various lectins, protein PAP-R, and pokeweed mitogen (PWM),[citation needed] as well as a toxic glycoprotein.[10]

Uses[edit]

Horticultural and ecological utility[edit]

Pokeweed berries are reported to be a good food source for songbirds such as gray catbird (Dumetella carolinensis), northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos), northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinals), and brown thrasher (Toxostoma rufum), other bird species including mourning dove (Zenaida macroura), and cedar waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum), and small animals unaffected by its toxins, including raccoon, opossum, red and gray fox, and the white-footed mouse.[3][21]

Pokeweeds are used as sometime food sources by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species, including the giant leopard moth (Hypercompe scribonia).[22]

Some pokeweeds are grown as ornamental plants, mainly for their attractive berries;[citation needed] a number of cultivars have been selected for larger fruit panicles.[citation needed]

Modern medical uses[edit]

There is interest in pokeweed mitogen (PWM) in lymphocyte simulation and anti-infective immunotherapy, and as an anticancer strategy, but effectiveness in human health has yet to be established.[23][24][25]

Traditional medical uses[edit]

Pokeweed has been used as a folk remedy by Native Americans, as a purgative, emetic, and heart stimulant,[citation needed] and to treat cancer, itching, and syphilis.[citation needed] Owen notes that "Indians and early settlers used the root in poultices and certain drugs for skin diseases and rheumatism."[1]

In the period in which the aforementioned cases of poisoning occurred (see Toxicity), pokeweed had been used more broadly, for reported anti-rheumatic properties,[citation needed] and it appeared in 1820 in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia as a plant with analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.[citation needed] The late 19th century herbal, the King's American Dispensatory, describes various various folk medical uses that led individuals to ingest pokeberry products.[26]

Food uses[edit]

An noted by the OARDC staff scientists:[11]

"Children are most frequently poisoned… [and] Infants are especially sensitive and have died from eating only a few raw berries. Although boiled young shoots have been eaten as greens and berries cooked in pie, ingestion of any part of the plant cannot be recommended. Adults have been poisoned, sometimes fatally, by eating improperly prepared leaves and shoots, especially if part of the root is harvested with the shoot, and by mistaking the root for an edible tuber." [emphasis added]

As summarized by Owen of the Iowa State:[1]

"Most authorities regard the plant as poisonous. Humans have been poisoned by eating parts of the root, which is the most poisonous part of the plant. Children are often attracted by the bright crimson juice of the berries and can be poisoned by eating the berries… Because of the danger of human poisoning, pokeweed should be eradicated when discovered. This is especially true if the plants are in hedges, gardens, and other areas adjacent to a home where children may be attracted by clusters of berries."

Although all parts of the plant are considered toxic and the root is never eaten and cannot be made edible,[citation needed] the late 19th century herbal, the King's American Dispensatory, describes various various folk medical uses that led individuals to ingest pokeberry products,[26] and festivals still celebrate the plants use in its historical food preparations (see below). Authorities[who?] advise against eating pokeweed even after thrice boiling, as traces of toxins may still remain,[citation needed] and all agree pokeweed should never be eaten uncooked.[citation needed]

Other uses[edit]

Plant toxins from Phytolacca are being explored as a means to control zebra mussels.[27][28]

The toxic extract of pokeweed berries can be processed to yield a red ink or dye.[29][better source needed]

Cultural significance[edit]

In music[edit]

The cultural significance of poke sallet, the cooked greens-like dish made from pokeweed, and the rural poverty reflected in its history,[citation needed] is indicated by the popularity and coverage received by the 1969 hit swamp rock song "Polk Salad Annie", written and first performed by Tony Joe White.[30][31][32][33][better source needed] The opening lyrics run:

Ah, [s]ome of you all never been down South too much

Some of you all never [Incomprehensible]

I' gonna tell you a little story

So you'll understand where I'm talking about


Down there, we have a plant that grows out in the woods and the fields

And it looks some like a turnip green

Everybody calls it Polk salad, now, that's Polk salad

Polk... salad...


Used to know a girl that lived down there and

She'd go out in the evenings and pick a mess of it

Carry it home and cook it for supper

'Cause that's about all they had to eat

But they did all right...[34][33]

The song was covered tens of times, most famously by Elvis Presley (going on to appear in many tens of his albums),[35] by Twist and The Mellow Fellows, Tom Jones, Johnny Hallyday, Bill Carlisle, Joe Dassin, and others.[33][better source needed][36][37]

In local Southern festivals[edit]

Poke sallet festivals are held annually in several small southern communities, in remembrance of the plant and its historic role, festivals that have evolved to be local community celebrations only remotely related to the plant as a food or medicinal (e.g.,[38] and individual festival references below). Published locations for the continuing festivals include:

Young pokeweed leaves boiled repeatedly to reduce toxins, with water discarded after each boiling, give the "poke sallet" or "poke salit" of these events,[citation needed] but see sections on Toxicity and Food uses above.

Nutritional information[edit]

Pokeberry shoots, drained after cooking by boiling (without salt).
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 84 kJ (20 kcal)
3.1 g
Sugars 1.6 g
Dietary fiber 1.5 g
0.4 g
2.3 g
Vitamins
Vitamin A equiv.
(54%)
435 μg
(48%)
5200 μg
1747 μg
Thiamine (B1)
(6%)
0.07 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
(21%)
0.25 mg
Niacin (B3)
(7%)
1.1 mg
Vitamin B6
(9%)
0.111 mg
Vitamin C
(99%)
82 mg
Vitamin K
(103%)
108 μg
Trace metals
Calcium
(5%)
53 mg
Iron
(9%)
1.2 mg
Magnesium
(4%)
14 mg
Manganese
(16%)
0.336 mg
Phosphorus
(5%)
33 mg
Potassium
(4%)
184 mg
Sodium
(1%)
18 mg

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Bearing toxicity information in mind (see section above), nutritional information for boiled and drained pokeberry shoots has been reported (see box).

Bearing toxicity information in mind (see section above), nutritional information per 100 grams dry weight of shoots has been reported:[13][better source needed]

Further reading and viewing[edit]

  • P.A.G.M. De Smet, 1993, "Phytolacca americana," in Adverse Effects of Herbal Drugs, Volume 2 (Peter A. G. M. Smet, Konstantin Keller, Rudolf Hänsel, & R. Frank Chandler, Eds.), Berlin:Springer Science & Business Media, ISBN 3642489060, see [27], accessed 2 May 2015.
  • ACS, 2008, "Entry: Pokeweed," at Find Support & Treatment; Treatments and Side Effects Complementary and Alternative Medicine; Herbs, Vitamins, and Minerals, see ACS Pokeweed entry, accessed 2 May 2015.
  • Tyler, V. E.; Brady, L. R. & Robbers, J. E., 1988, "Poisonous plants," in Pharmacognosy, 9th ed. Philadelphia:Lea and Febiger, Chapter 15, pp. 438–455.
  • Elvin-Lewis, Memory P. F.; Lewis, Walter Hepworth (2003). Medical Botany: Plants Affecting Human Health (2nd ed.). Chichester: John Wiley & Sons. p. 82ff. ISBN 0471628824. 
  • "Tony Joe White - Polk Salad Annie," performance, date unknown, at [28], accessed 2 May 2015.
  • "Tony Joe White and Johnny Cash," performance, 1970, "Polk Salad (Poke Salit) Annie," from Johnny Cash Show, episode no. 27, April 08, 1970, at LiveLeak (online), see [29], accessed 2 May 2015.
  • Brennan Carley, 2014, "Foo Fighters Join Tony Joe White on Bluesy ‘Polk Salad Annie’ on ‘Letterman’," Spin (online), October 16, 2014, see [30], accessed 2 May 2015.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Michael D.K. Owen, 1988, "Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana L.)," Publication Pm-746 of the Iowa State University Extension Service, Ames, IA:Iowa State University, see [1], accessed 2 May 2015
  2. ^ Per Owen, the flower structure contains "10 separate stamens with 10 carpels united into a 10-cell pistil," that gives rise to the 10-celled berry, see Owen, 1988, op. cit.
  3. ^ a b Nancy L. Matthews, 1987, "Appendix F: Habitat Assessment Manual," in Report: Anne Arundel Co., Offc. Planning and Zoning, Environmental and Special Projects Div., to Office of Coastal Resources Management, NOAA and State of Maryland Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Commission, August 1987, 9 pages, passim see [2], accessed 2 May 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g USDA-ARS, 2015, "Taxon: Phytolacca americana L.," at National Genetic Resources Program.Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database], National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland, see [3], accessed 2 May 2015.
  5. ^ a b c Bailey, L.H., Bailey, E.Z., and the staff of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium, 1976, Hortus third: A concise dictionary of plants cultivated in the United States and Canada, New York, NY:Macmillan, ISBN 978002505470, see [4], accessed 2 May 2015.
  6. ^ Further unlisted names that appear in Hortus Third (Bailey, Bailey, et al., 1976, op. cit.) include: cancer jalap, oakum, garget, pocan, and scoke.
  7. ^ Further unlisted names that appear at WebMD include American Nightshade, American Spinach, Baie de Phytolaque d’Amérique, Bear's Grape, Branching Phytolacca, Cancer Jalap, Chongras, Coakum, Coakum-Chorngras, Cokan, Crowberry, Épinard de Cayenne, Épinard des Indes, Faux Vin, Fitolaca, Garget, Herbe à la Laque, Hierba Carmin, Jalap, Kermesbeere, Laque, Phytolacca Berry, Phytolacca americana, Phytolacca decandra, Phytolaque Américaine, Phytolaque à Baies, Phytolaque Commun, Phytolaque d'Amérique, Pocan, Raisin d'Amérique, Red Plant, Scoke, Skoke, Teinturier, Teinturière, Vigne de Judée. See WebMD, 2015, "Pokeweed," at WebMD: Vitamin and Supplement (online), [5], accessed 2 May 2015.
  8. ^ The plant is also referred to as poke sallet, and this and related terms can also refer to the cooked leaves of the plant, see Cultural significance below.
  9. ^ a b c Jacob L. Heller, 2103, "Pokeweed poisoning," at MedlinePlus (online), October 21, 2013, see [6], accessed 2 May 2015.
  10. ^ a b c CBIF CPPIS, 2013, "All Plants (Scientific Name): Phytolacca americana," at Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility, Species Bank, Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System, (online), June 5, 2013, see [7], accessed 2 May 2015.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h John Cardina, Cathy Herms, Tim Koch & Ted Webster, 2015, "Entry: Common Pokeweed, Phytolacca americana," in Ohio Perennial and Biennial Weed Guide, Wooster, OH:Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), see OARDC Pokeweed, accessed 2 May 2015.
  12. ^ a b Amitava Dasgupta, 2011, Effects of Herbal Supplements on Clinical Laboratory Test Results, Volume 2, Patient Safety, Walter de Gruyter, ISBN 3110245620, see [8], accessed 2 May 2015.
  13. ^ a b c Anon., 2015, "Entry: Phytolacca americana - L.," at Plants For A Future (organizational webpage), see [9], accessed 2 May 2015.[better source needed]
  14. ^ Lewis, W.H. & Smith, P.R.; Smith (December 1979). "Poke root herbal tea poisoning,". J. Amer. Med. Assoc. 242 (25): 2759–60. doi:10.1001/jama.242.25.2759. PMID 501875. 
  15. ^ One local scientific study performed in Oklahoma in 1962 concluded that the oral lethal dose of fresh poke berries in mice "appeared to be about 300 gm/kg body weight and for the dry berries about 100 gm/kg body weight." and that the "liquid extract of Poke berries was approximately 80 times as toxic when injected intraperitoneally as when given orally". See Ogzewalla, Mossberg, Beck, Farrington (1962). "Studies on the Toxicity of Poke Berries" (PDF). Proc. of the Okla. Acad. of Sci.: 54–57. 
  16. ^ USDA NRCS, 2015, "Plant Profile:Phytolacca americana L., American pokeweed," at USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database, see [10], accessed 2 May 2014.
  17. ^ Bensky, Dan, Steven Clavey, Steven & Stoger, Erich, 2004, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Materia Medica, 3rd Ed., Eastland Press.[full citation needed]
  18. ^ a b c d Kang, S.S. & Woo, W.S. (1980). "Triterpenes from the berries of Phytolacca americana". J. Nat. Prod. 43 (4): 510–3. doi:10.1021/np50010a013. 
  19. ^ Suga, Y., Maruyama, Y., Kawanishi, S. & Shoji, J. (1978). "Studies on the constituents of phytolaccaceous plants. I. On the structures of phytolaccasaponin B, E and G from the roots of Phytolacca americana L.". Chem. Pharm. Bull. 26: 520–5. [non-primary source needed]
  20. ^ Tang, W. & Eisenbrand, G., 1992, Chinese Drugs of Plant Origin: Chemistry, Pharmacology, and Use in Traditional and Modern Medicine, New York, NY: Springer-Verlag, p. 765.
  21. ^ Other birds reported to include pokeweed in their diets include bluebirds, crested flycatchers, fish crows, hairy woodpeckers, kingbirds, phoebes, robins, starlings, and yellaw-breasted chats, see Matthews, 1987, op. cit.
  22. ^ Donald W. Hall, 2015, "Giant woolly bear (larva), giant or great leopard moth (adult) [scientific name: Hypercompe scribonia (Stoll 1790) (Lepidoptera: Erebidae: Arctiinae)]," at Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences: Featured creatures, Gainesville, FL:Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry, Table 1, see [11], accessed 2 May 2–15.
  23. ^ Brittinger, G; König, E (1969). "Lymphocyte stimulation by pokeweed mitogen (PWM)". Klinische Wochenschrift 47 (24): 1307–13. PMID 4910827.  edit
  24. ^ Wimer, B. M.; Mann, P. L. (2000). "Mitogen immunotherapy for HIV infections exemplified by phytohemagglutinin and pokeweed mitogen". Cancer biotherapy & radiopharmaceuticals 15 (6): 629–44. PMID 11190495.  edit
  25. ^ ACS, 2008, "Entry: Pokeweed," at Find Support & Treatment; Treatments and Side Effects Complementary and Alternative Medicine; Herbs, Vitamins, and Minerals, see ACS Pokeweed entry, accessed 2 May 2015.
  26. ^ a b John King, Harvey Wickes Felter & John Uri Lloyd, 1898, "Entry: Phytolacca," in King's American Dispensatory, Cincinnati : Ohio Valley Co., see [12] and [13], accessed 2 May 2015.
  27. ^ , Harold H. Lee, Lemma Aklilu, and Harriett J. Bennett, 1992, The use of Endod (Phytolacca dodecandra) to Control the Zebra Mussels (Dreissena polymorpha), Chapter 37, pp. 643-656, in Zebra Mussels Biology, Impacts, and Control, Thomas F. Nalepa & Don W. Schloesser, Eds., Boca Raton, FL:CRC Press, ISBN 0873716965, see [14], accessed 5 May 2015.
  28. ^ US application 5252330, Harold H. Lee; Peter C. Fraleigh & Lemma Aklilu, "Method of controlling zebra mussels with extract of Phytolacca dodecandra", published 1993-10-12, assigned to University of Toledo. 
  29. ^ Pesha Black & Micah Hahn, 2004, "Pokeweed, Phytolacca americana, Family: Phytolaccaceae," at [Guide to] Practical Plants of New England (student project pages), see [15], accessed 2 May 2015.[better source needed]
  30. ^ For an example, from an unknown gig, see "Tony Joe White - Polk Salad Annie," at [16], accessed 2 May 2015.
  31. ^ Tony Joe White and Johnny Cash, 1970, "Polk Salad (Poke Salit) Annie," from Johnny Cash Show, episode no. 27, April 08, 1970, at LiveLeak (online), see [17] and [18], accessed 2 May 2015.
  32. ^ Brennan Carley, 2014, "Foo Fighters Join Tony Joe White on Bluesy ‘Polk Salad Annie’ on ‘Letterman’," Spin (online), October 16, 2014, see [www.spin.com/2014/10/foo-fighters-david-letterman-tony-joe-white-polk-salad-annie/], accessed 2 May 2015.
  33. ^ a b c Martin Doppelbauer, 2008, "Tony Joe White - His Music," at martin-doppelbauer.de (online fan site), see [19], accessed 2 May 2015.[better source needed]
  34. ^ Tony Joe White, 2015 [1969], "Polk Salad Annie [Lyrics]", New York, NY:Sony/ATV Music Publishing, at METROLYRICS (online), see [20], accessed 2 May 2015.
  35. ^ For an example, from "Live in Las Vegas 1970," see "Elvis Presley - Polk Salad Annie Live (High Quality)," at [21], accessed 2 May 2015.
  36. ^ Anon., 2015, "Elvis Presley: Polk Salad Annie (4:50)," at last.fm (online), see [22], accessed 2 May 2015
  37. ^ Other individuals/bands include, Billy Branch, James Burton, Richie Holmes, Jason & The Scorchers, Sleepy LaBeef, Dutch Mason, Little Tony, and Kenny Vernon, see Doppelbauer, 2008, op. cit., and El Orbits of Houston, Texas.[citation needed]
  38. ^ a b APSFA, 2015, "Schedule of Events," at The Annual Poke Salad Festival Association, Annual Poke Salad Festival, Blanchard, Louisiana, at [23], accessed 2 May 2015.
  39. ^ Anon., 2015, "Poke Sallet Festival ['Browngrass will join them...']," at The Jackson County Sentinel (online), April 28, 2015, p. 4, see [24], accessed 2 May 2015.[subscription][better source needed]
  40. ^ Anon., 2015, "Poke Sallet Festival Pageant," at The Jackson County Sentinel (online), April 21, 2015, p. 3, see [25], accessed 2 May 2015.[subscription][better source needed]
  41. ^ Anon., 2015, "Poke Sallet Festival, Gainesboro, Tennessee," at Facebook Events (online), see [26], accessed 2 May 2015. Quote: "This year will mark the 37th Annual Poke Sallet Festival “The Oldest Poke Sallet Festival in the state of Tennessee” Come and join us on Thursday May 7th, Friday May 8th and Saturday May 9th 2015 In Historical Downtown Gainesboro. Look for details that will be featured in a 16 page insert in the April 28 issue of the Jackson County Sentinel."[better source needed]

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