Actaea rubra is a perennial herb to 80 cm tall, erect, poisonous; roots associated with VA mycorrhizas (Brundrett and Kendrick 1988).
Leaves alternate, blade 2-3 times compound, leaflets egg-shaped, toothed, hairy on veins below emerging with flowering stalk in May-July.
Flowers white, small, radially symmetrical; inflorescence an unbranched terminal cluster (raceme).
Fruit fleshy, red berries on slender stalks; 1-seeded. Aug.-Oct. Usually flowers and fruits before A. alba. fruit eaten by mice and some game birds (Martin et al.1951).
Wetland status: UPL.
Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent.
Habitat: Moist, rich woods.