Plant A Day – White Baneberry

White Baneberry Actaea pachypoda

White Baneberry
Actaea pachypoda

White Baneberry is more commonly known as Doll’s Eyes, which is a great name for it since the fruits could easily be plucked and plopped into  some china doll’s eye sockets.

The plant is 1-3 feet tall and really stands out in a nice woodland setting.  It is named Baneberry for a reason.  The berries, and for that matter the whole plant, is toxic.  It is in the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae), of which all species have a chemical called Ranunculin.  This is a fairly complicated chemical that can cause all sorts of problems if ingested, which happens more with farm animals that with people.  Don’t let your kids play with the berries!

The 2-3 foot plants grow in rich woods

The 2-3 foot plants grow in rich woods

The flowerheads can really stand out during a walk through the woods

The flowerheads can really stand out during a walk through the woods

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