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Actaea pachypoda f. rubrocarpa (Killip) Fernald

 

Doll’s-eyes

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassMagnoliidaeIncludes magnolias, nutmeg, bay laurel, cinnamon, avocado, black pepper, and many others
OrderRanunculalesBasal (evolved earlier) eudicots, also called “true dicots”
FamilyRanunculaceaeButtercup family
GenusActaeaFrom ancient Greek, signifying a wet habitat and its leaves’ similarity to Sambucus leaves
Speciespachypoda
f.rubrocarpa

About plant names...

This rare variant of white baneberry is a North American native.

Identification: White baneberry (Actaea pachypoda) is a plant that produces clusters of white berries. Red baneberry (Actaea rubra) produces red berries. This rare variant of white baneberry produces red berries. To make the confusion complete, there is also a rare form of red baneberry (Actaea rubra f. neglecta) that produces white berries. On all of the baneberries, leaves often occur in groups of three, on thin stems, and are saw-toothed.

Some variants are compared below:

 

Actaea pachypoda (Doll’s-eyes)

7/15/2020 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA

Actaea pachypoda (Doll’s-eyes)

5/22/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 11 × 7" (27 × 18 cm)

 
Actaea pachypoda
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Actaea pachypoda f. rubrocarpa

Actaea rubra
Common Name

White Baneberry

Doll’s-eyes

Red Baneberry
Plant      
Flowers Flowerheads of small white flowers are roughly oval in shape. Each flower is ¼" (6.3 mm) across. Flowerheads of small white flowers are roughly oval in shape. Each flower is ¼" (6.3 mm) across. Feathery flowerheads of small white flowers are roughly oval in shape. Each flower is ¼" (6.3 mm) across. Flowers have a roselike fragrance.
Leaves      
Fruit White berries supported by red pedicels that are ⅛" (3 mm) or more in thickness. Berry tips have black-purple spot. Red berries supported by pedicels that are ⅛" (3 mm) or more in thickness. Instead of the tomato red of red baneberry, these berries have a more luminous deep magenta color, becoming more purplish with time. Bright or dark red, oval berries are supported by pedicels that are less than ⅛" (3 mm) thick.
Range/ Zones

USDA Zones: 3-8

Habitats     Actaea racemosa
Type Wild Wild Wild
Occurrence Common Rare Common

 

 
Actaea rubra f. neglecta
Common Name

White-fruited Red Baneberry
Plant 12-36" (30-91 cm) high
Flowers roughly spherical (racemes) of small white or purple Flowers ¼" (6.3 mm) across, with a roselike odor. Flowerheads appear soft and feathery. Flowers appear in May.
Leaves In groups of three, on thin stems, and are saw-toothed. Individual leaves are somewhat divided into three sections
Fruit Oval when green, becoming rounder and white when ripe
Range/ Zones

Habitats Moist, shaded areas, such as forest floors
Type Wild

 

Edibility: Skull & Crossbones All parts of this plant are poisonous. As few as two of these very bitter berries may be fatal to children; a half dozen can cause cardiac arrest and bizarre neurological symptoms in an adult. The roots and leaves also contain several poisons that are dangerous when ingested and can cause skin blisters.

Online References:

Actaea pachypoda f. rubrocarpa on

Actaea pachypoda f. rubrocarpa on www.jstor.org

Actaea pachypoda f. rubrocarpa on eFloras

Actaea pachypoda f. rubrocarpa description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Sep 2020.

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Range: Zones 3-8:

About this map...