White Baneberry, Actaea pachypoda

White Baneberry (Actaea pachypoda) also known as Doll’s Eyes, is a species of flowering plant native to eastern North America. It grows in clay to coarse loamy upland soils. It is found in hardwood and mixed-forest stands.

This is a herbaceous perennial plant that grows to 19.75 inches high. It has toothed, bipinnate compound leaves that are up to 15.75 inches long and 12 inches broad. It has white flowers. Its most striking feature is its fruit. The fruit is a tiny white berry, whose size, shape, and black stigma scar give the species its other common name, “Doll’s Eyes”.

The berries are very poisonous, and the entire plant is considered poisonous to humans. The berries contain cardiogenic toxins which can have an immediate sedative affect on human cardiac muscle tissue, and are the most poisonous part of the plant. Ingestion of the berries can lead to cardiac arrest and death. The berries are harmless to birds, the plant’s primary seed dispersers.