[The Buttercup Family East of the Cascade
Mountains of Oregon and Washington]
Synonyms: Actaea eburnea, Actaea neglecta, Actaea rubra var. dissecta, Actaea spicata, Actaea spicata var. rubra, Actaea viridiflora
Baneberry blooming along the Lookout Mountain Trail #804 in coniferous forest on the north side of Lookout Mountain, Ochoco National Forest.........June 25, 2017.
Baneberry is an attractive wildflower with one to several erect
and branched stems arising 40-100 cm high from a cluster of lower leaves. All
the large leaves are found on the stem. Individual leaves are twice to thrice
pinnatifid, the leaflets ovate in shape tapering to a point, and the the margins
of the leaflets having coarse teeth or lobes. Individual leaflets measure from
3-9 cm long.
The inflorescence consists of axillary or terminal clusters
of many small white flowers. The 3-5 sepals are white or purplish-tinged and
measure about 2-3 mm long. The 5-10 white petals are narrow and are roughly
about the same size as the sepals. The stamens are longer than the petals. The
fruit are red or white in color and are spherical to ellipsoid in shape, measuring
from 5-11 mm long.
As noted in the photo above, baneberry is an attractive plant
for the natural border in the garden. The lacy leaves and the vibrant red or
white fruit are both reasons to use this wildflower in the garden, although
one should remember that the fruits are deadly poisonous.
Baneberry may be found in moist, dark woods and along streambanks,
primarily west of the Cascades, but also eastward in moist, mountainous areas.
Baneberry may be found from Alaska south to California and east
to the Rockies, and found again along the Atlantic coast.
The photo above shows the attractive foliage with its pinnately compound leaves and spent flowers of red baneberry as seen at about 4100'on the eastern slopes of Mt. Adams.........June 13, 2005.
The bright red berries of baneberry as seen at Swauk Campground, Wenatchee National Forest........July 23, 2009.
A leaf of baneberry as seen at Swauk Campground, Wenatchee National Forest......July 23, 2009.
Baneberries with ripening fruit as seen about one mile north of the summit of Round Mountain along the Round Mountain Trail #805, Ochoco National Forest..........August 9, 2014.
Baneberries with white fruit as seen on the north side of Lookout Mountain along the Lookout Mountain Trail #804, Ochoco National Forest..........August 10, 2014. The plants at this particular location had both white or red berries.
The photo above and directly below both show the inflorescence of red baneberry as seen at 4100' on the eastern slopes of Mt. Adams.........June 17, 2006. Note that the flowers lack petals.
Baneberries as seen along Trail #5005 in Slide Basin, Strawberry Mountain Wilderness.........August 11, 2015.
The photo above shows baneberry with its bright reddish-black fruit, from the Royal Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh, Scotland....July 18, 1989.