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Pokeroot  

Pokeroot


 Phytolacca decandra

Used for Reds

This American native perennial is also known as Pokeweed, Ink berry, Bella Sombra, Herbe de la laque, Amerikanische Scharlachbeere, Kermesbeere, and several other names. It is the berries that are used for dyeing. Seed cost includes import duty and phytosanitary certificate. It has been used for food and medicines in the past, but contains toxic chemicals so is not recommended for eating.

Fresh seed imported from USA currently available - easy to germinate.

Mordant; Alum

 from Wikipaedia;

Pokeweed berries yield a red ink or dye, which was once used by Native Americans to decorate their horses. The United States Declaration of Independence was written in fermented pokeberry juice (hence the common name 'inkberry'). Many letters written home during the American Civil War were written in pokeberry ink; the writing in these surviving letters appears brown. The red juice has also been used to symbolize blood, as in the anti-slavery protest of Benjamin Lay. A rich brown dye can be made by soaking fabrics in fermenting berries in a hollowed-out pumpkin.

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

Pokeweeds are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Giant Leopard Moth.

Toxic Principle Saponins, believed to be the primary toxic constituents, are present in the berry juice and other parts. Other toxic constituents have also been identified including the alkaloid phytolaccine (in small amounts) and the alkaloid phytolaccotoxin, as well as a glycoprotein. When pokeweed is used as food, the water in which it is boiled must be discarded.


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