Hiking Discoveries

“I am Falling in love again with autumn,
The smell of warm cider,
The orange color leaves,
Pumpkins everywhere
and the crisp breeze,
People walking or riding their bikes,
Folks jogging or going on hikes,
I love autumn for many reasons and
I’m pleased to admit- this is my favorite season”
― Charmaine J Forde

An autumn hike may allow one to discover native plants unfamiliar to many suburban dwellers. The above plant, Phytolacca americana, is very familiar to birds, consuming the purple berries.  However, this plant should be avoided by human beings and other mammals. All parts of the plant are toxic. Commonly called pokeberry, pokeweed, poke sallet, poke salad, and polk salad, the leaves of this native plant  have been consumed  by human beings, through a boil and drain process. But, a far safer method to eat greens  is to buy  them from the local market. Hikers should enjoy the shiny purple berries from a distance,  keeping pets and children away from this toxic plant.

Learn more about this native plant at the following link.  Wikipedia