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

Scientific name:  Actaea pachypoda Elliott
Synonym name:  Actaea alba auct. non (L.) Mill.
Common name:  Doll's Eyes, White Baneberry
Family:  Ranunculaceae, Buttercup family

Actaea pachypoda, Doll's Eyes, White Baneberry

Life form:  Herbaceous perennial
Stems:  Up to 3 ft. (90cm) tall, glabrous, from thick large rhizome, purplish at base
Leaves:  Alternate, two or three large compound leaves, each thrice divided, glabrous, petiolate, toothed margin
Inflorescence:  Axillary pedunculate raceme, generally taller than wide
Flowers:  White, truncate or cleft petals, stamens +20, fragrant
Fruits / pods:  Berries, white, with black dot at apex, to 1cm long, with vertical groove, conspicuous red stalks
Flowering Period:  May - June
Habitat:  Deciduous woods, thickets

Actaea pachypoda, Doll's Eyes, White Baneberry


Derivation of the botanical name:
Actaea, Ἁκταία, from ἁκτή "seashore", one of the Nereids.
pachypoda παχυϛ pachys, thick, fat; πουϛ, ποδοϛ pus, pod, foot; thick foot (stalk).
Doll's Eyes, because the shiny white fruits resemble the china eyes once used in dolls.
  • The standard author abbreviation Elliot is used to indicate Stephen Elliott (1771 – 1830), an American legislator, banker, educator, and botanist.

Actaea pachypoda, Doll's Eyes, White Baneberry


 
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