We have poke growing all around here. Its not poisonous till the stalks turn red. Generally speaking if the stalk is red the leaves
are probably bad for your.
Dumas, Poke salad is eatten in the spring when the plant is young before the stalk turns red.
Rhubarb leaves are poisonous. The stalks are not.
Heres some info I found at http://www.watersheds.org
Salat is the German word for salad, and probably came to the Ozarks with German settlers. Poke salat is made from Pokeweed. In towns you'll find pokeweed growing wild in alleyways and vacant lots. In the country it grows in the fence rows and along the edges of woods. When mature it has clusters of shiny purple berries which birds love to eat.
After a long winter without fresh food, the early settlers looked forward to cooking the first tender green leaves of pokeweed. It gave them vitamins and was a good spring tonic. They'd cook it up with lamb's quarters and dock, which are also early spring greens. Some people today still cook and eat poke greens in the early spring.
Though the whole plant is poisonous, the young leaves can be eaten after cooking them using two changes of water. Poke is still used medicinally. Old timers in the Ozarks still eat one pokeberry a year as a preventative or to treat arthritis.
Horticulture lesson over