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Actaea (Baneberry)

More Information About Actaea

Actaea is a northern hemisphere genus of woodland perennials related to cimicifuga (which some taxonomists mistakenly lump in actaea), ranunculus, helleborus, and clematis. Actaea is known for its attractive lobed leaves and bizzarre berries. The American native, Actaea pachypoda, is called doll's eyes because it produces a cluster with dozens of white berries, each with a dark purple spot in the middle. This argus-eyed plant is native to forests in the eastern half of the US. Actaea berries are preceded by small cylindrical clusters of fluffy-looking, fragrant white flowers.

Actaea prefers part shade and a humus-rich, well-drained woodland soil with constant moisture. Actaea plants will re-seed themselves if the berries are left on the plant. Try combining actaea with acanthus or aspidistra for a texture contrast. You could make a macabre body parts garden with actaea (Doll's Eyes), chelone (Turtle Head), pulmonaria (Lungwort), remusatia (Elephant's ear), dicentra (Bleeding Heart), helicodocieros (Pig Butt Arum), and pyrrosia (Tongue Fern). When you are ready to buy actaea for your woodland garden, check out our online actaea for sale. It is worth noting that Actaea is also a north carolina native plant.