Actaea pachypoda Ell.
White baneberry, Dolls eyes
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)
The branched stems, from 1-3 ft. tall bear two or three large compound
leaves, each thrice divided. Leaflets are deeply saw-toothed. Above the foliage are dense, globular clusters of small white flowers. Fruit
is an attractive but poisonous, white berry.
This plant is sometimes called Dolls Eyes because the shiny white fruits resemble the china eyes once used in dolls. A red-fruited form of this species is distinguished from the otherwise similar Red Baneberry (A. rubra
) by its thick floral stalk.
Image Gallery: 19 photo(s) available
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Flower:
White or red Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun
AL , AR , CT , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , IA , KS , KY , LA , ME , MD , MA , MI , MN , MS , MO , NE , NH , NJ , NY , NC , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , VT , VA , WV , WI Canada: MB
, QC Native Distribution:
P.E.I. to s. Man., s. to FL, LA & KS Native Habitat: Deciduous
woods & thickets USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet , Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Various well-drained, humus-rich soils.
Conditions Comments: Often found in association with Actaea rubra.
BenefitWarning: POISONOUS PARTS: All parts, mainly berries and roots. Toxic if eaten in large quantities. Symptoms include burning of mouth and throat, salivation, severe stomach cramps, headache, diarrhea, dizziness and hallucinations. Toxic Principle: Unknown, glycoside or essential oil, protoanemonin. (Poisonous Plants of N.C.)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes