[Actaea alba auct. non (L.) Mill., more]
Etymology: Actaea: an ancient Greek name, from its wet habitat and similarity to Sambucus leaves
Plants: erect, perennial, 1 1/2'-3' tall forb
Leaves: alternate; 2-3 times 3-parted into separate, sharply toothed, oval-oblong leaflets, usually hairless on the bottom
Flowers: white, 4-10-parted, petals falling off leaving numerous white stamens; mature stigma as wide or wider than the ovary; inflorescence a 2" dense, long-stalked cluster usually longer than wide; blooms May-June
Fruits: several seeded, white berry, occasionally red, on a pink to red, very thick stalk
Habitat: moderate moisture; woods, forests; in rich soil
Hazardous: Careful, this plant is hazardous!
Conservation Status: Native
- leaves 2-3 ternately compund
- leaflets sharply cleft and toothed
- inflorescence a short, thick, terminal raceme of whitish flowers
- fruits berry-like, white with a broad red or purple stigma (making it look like an eye)
- pedicels stout (nearly as thick as peduncle), stigmas during flowering broadly sessile at summit of ovary
Flora of North America: Flora of North America Floristic Rating: Coefficient of Conservatism = 6 USDA Plants Database: Federal Distribution and detailed information including photos Dan Tenaglia's The Missouri Flora: Fabulous photographs; detailed descriptions; color and leave arrangement key. Southwest School of Botanical Medicine: Britton & Brown Illustrated Flora - 2nd Edition (1913) "An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States and Canada"