Actaea pachypoda

Actaea pachypoda , Photo: Jennifer Anderson @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Divisio: Magnoliophyta
Classis: Magnoliopsida
Ordo: Ranunculales
Familia: Ranunculaceae
Subfamilia: Ranunculoideae
Tribus: Actaeeae
Genus: Actaea
Species: Actaea pachypoda


Actaea pachypoda (Doll's-eyes, White Baneberry) is a flowering plant in the family Ranunculaceae, native to eastern North America.
It is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to 50 cm or more tall. It has toothed, bipinnate compound leaves up to 40 cm long and 30 cm broad. The white flowers are produced in a dense raceme about 10 cm long. Its most striking feature is its fruit, a 1 cm diameter white berry, whose size, shape, and black stigma scar give the species its other common name, "doll's eyes".

White baneberry prefers clay to coarse loamy upland soils, and are found in hardwood and mixed-forest stands.

The berries are highly poisonous, and the entire plant is considered poisonous to humans. First Nations peoples are reported to have drunk a tea made from the root of this plant after childbirth.

The berries contain cardiogenic toxins which can have an immediate sedative effect on human cardiac muscle tissue, and are the most poisonous part of the plant. Ingestion of the berries can lead to cardiac arrest and death. The berries are harmless to birds, the plant's primary seed dispersers.


* Flora of North America: Actaea pachypoda
* Missouri Plants: Actaea pachypoda
* USDA Plants Profile: Actaea pachypoda
* Bioimages: Actaea pachypoda
* Karen Legasy, Shayna LaBelle-Beadman and Brenda Chambers. Forest Plants of Northeastern Ontario. Lone Pine Publishing / Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1995.
* Edible and Medicinal plants of the West, Gregory L. Tilford, ISBN 0-87842-359-1

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