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Grape-sized bluish-black berries remain on this leafless stalk in late summer. While birds relish them, these berries are poisonous to humans, causing diarrhea and nausea. Other parts of the plant, however are edible. Native Americans and colonists used the starchy rhizomes as a potato-like food to make breads and soups. New shoots can also be prepared and eaten like asparagus.
Distribution USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV , WY Canada: MB , NB , NS , ON , QC Native Distribution: Southern Ontario, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan, south to FL and TX, up the Connecticut R. valley, s. MI, MN, & ND Native Habitat: Rich, dry to moist woods; thickets; calcareous hammocks
Spotted on a steep road bank near Holly Creek in the Cohutta Wilderness Area
Spotted on Aug 30, 2014
Submitted on Sep 12, 2014