Is pokeweed poisonous or edible?

Is pokeweed poisonous or edible?

Depending on the species, pokeweed is more or less poisonous and should be treated with appropriate caution. Consumption of up to ten ripe berries is considered harmless for adults, but unripe fruits contain significantly more toxins and even a few berries are a danger for small children.

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  • Which location is suitable for the pokeweed?
  • Is pokeweed suitable for my garden?
  • Is pokeweed suitable for combating snail plagues?

They lead to gastrointestinal disorders such as diarrhea, vomiting and nausea, but also to cramps. Seeds, roots, the stem and the leaves have even higher concentrations of the poisonous saponins and lectins.

Can I still plant pokeweed in my garden?

In general, the American pokeweed is particularly poisonous, so the Asian pokeweed is better suited for planting in the garden. There it can even be used as a remedy against snails. However, this plant is not well suited for a family garden where small children also play. Once planted, it is difficult to remove or control.

The essentials in brief:

  • Toxicity levels in descending order: seeds, roots, leaves, stem, unripe berry, ripe berry
  • American pokeweed is significantly more poisonous than the Asian pokeweed
  • Pokeweed can be used as a remedy for snails
  • up to 10 ripe berries harmless to adults
  • Possible symptoms of poisoning: gastrointestinal complaints such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramps


Be sure to keep young children away from pokeweed, whatever species you have planted. When unripe, the berries are always inedible.