Plants of New Jersey # 4 White Baneberry


White Baneberry in bloom in late spring

Welcome! Today’s plant is White Baneberry aka Doll’s Eyes (Actacea pachypoda). This plant belongs to the buttercup family and is found in mature woodlands. The plant is perennial which means it comes back year after year.

White Baneberry blooms in late spring and grows to be about 2 feet tall. The white flowers do not contain nectar but do contain plenty of pollen for bees.

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White Baneberry with berries

The “bane” in baneberry refers to the toxicity of this plant. All parts of this plant are toxic for human consumption. You will be in for a “baneful” experience if you were ever to eat any part of this plant. Do not do it! While it is not an important wildlife plant, certain birds do eat the berries including Ruffed Grouse, American Robin and Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers.

White Baneberry

Closeup of the berries (Doll’s Eyes) of White Baneberry

The Doll’s Eyes references the purple-tipped white berries. It is said that they resemble the eyes of antique porcelain dolls. The berries appear in late summer which makes it easy to identify.

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