|flowers and leaves|
The plant is native to eastern North America, in eastern Canada, and the Midwestern and Eastern United States. It prefers clay to coarse loamy upland soils, and is found in hardwood and mixed forest stands.
The white flowers are produced in spring in a dense raceme about 10 cm long. Its most striking feature is its fruit, a 1 cm diameter white berry, whose size, shape, and black stigma scar give the species its other common name, "doll's eyes".
The berries ripen over the summer, turning into a fruit that persists on the plant until frost.
Both the berries and the entire plant are considered poisonous to humans. The berries contain cardiogenic toxins which can have an immediate sedative effect on human cardiac muscle tissue, and are the most poisonous part of the plant. Ingestion of the berries can lead to cardiac arrest and death. It is extremely potent.
The berries are harmless to birds, the plant's primary seed dispersers.
It requires part to full shade, rich loamy soil, and regular water with good drainage to reproduce its native habitat.
This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (January 2011) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
- "RHS Plant Selector - Actaea pachypoda". Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- Missouri Plants: Actaea pachypoda
- Karen Legasy, Shayna LaBelle-Beadman and Brenda Chambers. Forest Plants of Northeastern Ontario. Lone Pine Publishing / Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1995.[page needed]
- Edible and Medicinal plants of the West, Gregory L. Tilford, ISBN 0-87842-359-1[page needed]
- Ali, Zulfiqar; Khan, Shabana I.; Pawar, Rahul S.; Ferreira, Daneel; Khan, Ikhlas A. (2007). "9,19-Cyclolanostane Derivatives from the Roots of Actaea pachypoda". Journal of Natural Products. 70 (1): 107–10. PMID 17253859. doi:10.1021/np060152t.
- Pellmyr, Olle (1985). "The Pollination Biology of Actaea pachypoda and A. Rubra (Including A. Erythrocarpa) in Northern Michigan and Finland". Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 112 (3): 265–273. JSTOR 2996542. doi:10.2307/2996542.
- Nuntanakorn, Paiboon; Jiang, Bei; Yang, Hui; Cervantes-Cervantes, Miguel; Kronenberg, Fredi; Kennelly, Edward J. (2007). "Analysis of polyphenolic compounds and radical scavenging activity of four American Actaea species". Phytochemical Analysis. 18 (3): 219–28. PMC . PMID 17500365. doi:10.1002/pca.975.
- Flora of North America: Actaea pachypoda
- USDA Plants Profile for Actaea pachypoda
- Missouri Botanical Garden Plantfinder Actaea pachypoda
- Bioimages: Actaea pachypoda
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