Actaea rubra (Aiton) Willd. - Red Baneberry


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Actaea rubra - (image 1 of 6)



Family: Ranunculaceae


Mesic woods but tending to favor more moist or springy sites than A. pachypoda.


Sometimes found with A. pachypoda.


Most of the US but absent from the southeast and south-central states. A subspecies extends the range of this species further west than A. pachypoda.


Perennial herb. Leaves alternate, compound, 2 or 3-pinnate, often pubescent along the veins beneath. Flowers white; on slender pedicels up to 1 mm in diameter. Fruits usually bright red.


Flowers late April to early May

Wetland Indicator: Facultative Upland

This species is considerably less common than A. pachypoda. Fruits of A. rubra can occasionally be white, and fruits of A. pachypoda can occasionally be red, so the pedicel is the best diagnostic feature for separating these two species. See A. pachypoda for an idea of what the flowers would look like and note the difference in the thickness of pedicels (stalk supporting the flowers/fruit).


Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.


USDA, NRCS. 2002. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 (
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA




Michael Hough 2004