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Actaea pachypoda (White Baneberry)

White Baneberry, Doll's Eyes, Actaea alba

Actaea pachypoda, White Baneberry, Doll's Eyes, Actaea alba

Perfect for shade gardens, Actaea pachypoda (White Baneberry) is an herbaceous perennial forming a clump of finely divided, bright green foliage, enhanced by dense, globular clusters of small fluffy white flowers in late spring and early summer. Borne on conspicuous red stems which rise above the foliage, they give way to pea-sized white berries in summer. Each berry has a small purple spot (doll’s eyes). Highly toxic, they are ignored by wildlife and persist until frost, providing ornamental interest over a long season.

  • Typically grows up to 18-30 in. tall (45-75 cm) and 24-36 in. wide (60-89 cm). Self-seeding may occur when the berries fall to the ground.
  • Thrives in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Moist, moderately fertile soil, enriched with organic matter is preferred. Don’t let the soil dry out.
  • Trouble-free and easy to care for, Baneberry is a welcomed addition to beds, borders, woodlands, cottage gardens, and naturalized areas.
  • Cut back after fruiting. Propagate by seed sown in pots in a cold frame in autumn or by division in early spring.
  • The berries are extremely poisonous if eaten.
  • Native to Eastern North America.

Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 9
Heat Zones 1 - 9
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 17
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Ranunculaceae
Genus Actaea
Common names White Baneberry, Baneberry
Exposure Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 1' - 3'
(30cm - 90cm)
Spread 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spacing 36" (90cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Poorly Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, New York, New Jersey, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine, Delaware, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Southwest, Southeast, Northeast, Midwest, Missouri, Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Nebraska, Ohio, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia, Florida, Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma
Tolerance Full Shade, Deer, Rabbit
Attracts Bees
Garden Uses Beds And Borders
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Actaea rubra (Red Baneberry)
Actaea simplex (Atropurpurea Group) ‘Hillside Black Beauty’ (Baneberry)
Actaea racemosa (Black Cohosh)
Actaea simplex (Atropurpurea Group) ‘Mountain Wave’ (Baneberry)
Actaea simplex ‘Pink Spike’ (Baneberry)
Actaea simplex (Atropurpurea Group) ‘Black Negligee’ (Baneberry)

Recommended Companion Plants

Aster novae-angliae (New England Aster)
Hakonechloa macra (Hakone Grass)
Hosta (Plantain Lily)
Persicaria amplexicaulis (Mountain Fleece)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

30 Great Perennials for Shade
Actaea simplex (Bugbane)
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 9
Heat Zones 1 - 9
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 17
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Ranunculaceae
Genus Actaea
Common names White Baneberry, Baneberry
Exposure Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 1' - 3'
(30cm - 90cm)
Spread 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spacing 36" (90cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Poorly Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, New York, New Jersey, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine, Delaware, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Southwest, Southeast, Northeast, Midwest, Missouri, Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Nebraska, Ohio, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia, Florida, Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma
Tolerance Full Shade, Deer, Rabbit
Attracts Bees
Garden Uses Beds And Borders
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Guides with
Actaea (Baneberry)
Not sure which Actaea (Baneberry) to pick?
Compare Now

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