Actaea rubra (Red Baneberry)
|Also known as:|
|Habitat:||part shade, shade; woods|
|Bloom season:||May - June|
|Plant height:||1 to 3 feet|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: FACU MW: FACU NCNE: FACU|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Flowers are in a round cluster about 2 inches tall at the end of a long flower stem rising above the leaves. Individual flowers are about ¼ inch across, with 4 to 10 white spear-shaped petals and numerous white tipped stamens that are longer than the petals, on slender green stalks up to ½ inch long. The petals drop off shortly after the flower blooms. One plant has 1 to a few flower heads.
Leaves are twice compound with 3 or 5 leaflets in each group. Leaflets are up to 2 inches long and wide, with sharp coarse teeth, rounded at the base and pointed at the tip. Leaflets may be divided into 2 or 3 lobes and are usually somewhat hairy.
A species called White Baneberry (Actaea pachypoda) is nearly identical. The most distinguishing characteristic is the stalk on the individual flowers and fruit. Red Baneberry has slender green stalks, where White Baneberry has thick stalks. White Baneberry also tends to have larger leaves that are usually hairless, where Red Baneberry leaves are usually hairy to some degree.
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Photos taken at Long Lake Regional Park, New Brighton, Ramsey County.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?