Actaea alba  (A. pachypoda) doll’s eyes; white baneberry Ranunculaceae ACAL; Bx, pb, vc; R, eb, gb;


Actaea (Accessed 3/2014)

Actaea (Accessed 3/2014)

Actaea alba is a perennial herb, 40-80 cm tall, erect, plant poisonous, roots associated with VA mycorrhizas (Brundrett and Kendrick 1988). 

Leaves alternate, blade 2-3 times compound, leaflets egg-shaped, toothed, emerging with flowering stalk; blooming May-July. 

Actaea alba (doll's eyes; Ranunculaceae) inflorescence.

Actaea alba (doll’s eyes; Ranunculaceae) inflorescence. (Accessed 7/2017).

Flowers white, small, radially symmetrical, petals to 0.4 cm long, spatula-shaped, stigma broad, no style; inflorescence an unbranched terminal cluster (raceme); blooms May-June. 

Fruit fleshy, white berries, 1 cm long, with dark spot at tip (persistent stigma), fruiting stalks red, stout about 0.2 cm long from the central axis, 1-seeded; fruits July-Sept (Hough 1983). fruit eaten by mice and some game birds (Martin et al.1951). 

Wetland status: UPL. 

Frequency in NYC: Infrequent. 

Origin: Native. 

Habitat: Moist to dry, undisturbed forest understories in rich soil.