Genus Actaea
Buttercup Family (Ranunculaceae)

Baneberry blossoms

(Actaea rubra)

These plants grow 3 or 4 feet tall, in moist protected places in our canyons. They have beautiful lush foliage, and produce showy racemes of small white flowers which bloom in May and June.

Baneberry plants with flowers

Small clusters of berries are produced in late summer. Some plants have red berries and some have white. (See photos below.) Both kinds are mildly poisonous -- human deaths have been reported from the berries of a related species which occurs in Europe, but none from this country.

Red baneberries White baneberries