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 Actaea subsp. var.  baneberry, bugbane
Actaea erythrocarpa
Habit: herbaceous
Height: to
Width: to
Height: warning.png"" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. to 2.5 ft
Width: warning.png"" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. to warning.png"" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.
Lifespan: perennial
Origin: N Hemisphere
Poisonous: all parts when ingested
Exposure: part-sun, shade
Water: moderate
Hidden fields, interally pass variables to right place
Minimum Temp: °Fwarning.png"°F" is not a number.
USDA Zones: to
Sunset Zones: 1-5, 30-45
Flower features:
Ranunculaceae > Actaea var. ,

Actaea, commonly called baneberry or bugbane, is a genus of flowering plants belonging to the family Ranunculaceae, native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Actaea (ancient name of the elder, transferred by Linnaeus). Ranunculaceae. Actea. Baneberry. Cohobh. Native hardy herbacous perennials. Sometimes offered in collections of hardy border plants. Not to be confounded with blue cohosh, which is Caulophyllum.

Leaflets of the twice- or thrice-ter- nate lvs. ovate, sharply cleft, and cut- toothed: fls. small, white, in terminal aureum. racemes; sepals .4 or 5, falling early; petals 4-10, clawed; stamens many: fr. a many-seeded berry.

Acteas are grown chiefly for the showy spikes of small white flowers in spring, and handsome clusters of berries in autumn. Useful for rockery and wild garden, or for clumps and borders. They thrive in rich woods and shade.CH

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.


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Propagation is by seeds sown in late fall to germinate the next spring or sown in springCH. Old seed is said not to germinate wellCH. A more satisfactory means of propagation is by root-division in springCH.

Pests and diseases

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The genus is closely related to Cimicifuga and Souliea, and many botanists include those genera within Actaea (e.g. Compton et al. 1998, Compton & Culham 2002, Gao et al. 2006, RHS Plant Finder, 2007) based on combined evidence from DNA sequence data, similarity in biochemical constituents and on morphology; if included, the number of species in Actaea rises to 25-30wp. Other botanists (e.g. Hoffman 1999, Wang et al. 1999, Lee & Park 2004) reject this merger because only one group (Actaea) have fleshy fruit while the remainder have dry fruitwp. The genus is treated here in its narrow sense, comprising four to eight specieswp.

Selected specieswp

The name Actaea alba (L.) Mill. is a confused one (Fernald 1940); although described as an American species (now named A. pachypoda), the illustration on which the description was based was actually a picture of the European A. spicata, and strictly, the name is therefore a synonym of the European specieswp. Some texts however still treat A. pachypoda under this namewp.


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