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Necklace Weed Actaea pachypoda

Phonetic Spelling
ak-TEE-uh pak-ee-PO-duh
This plant has high severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

A member of the buttercup family, Actaea pachypoda is a perennial herb forming from a thick rhizome.  It will adapt to most growing conditions with the exception of dry soil.  It prefers humus-rich moist soil in woodlands and thickets.  It is non-aggressive and non-invasive.

This self-seeding perennial can be propagated by sowing the seed collected from the berries.  Each berry contains less than 10 seeds. The seeds will germinate the year after sowing and will bloom in the following year. Division can be another means of propagation, the optimum period being in early spring or fall.  

The flowers provide pollen but lack nectar.  The pollen is collected by short-tongued bees.  The berries are eaten by a variety of birds, thereby spreading the seed to other areas.  The birds are immune to the toxic effects of the berries.

All parts of this plant are poisonous, mainly the berries and roots.  Use caution when planting in an are where children and pets have access.

It can be found growing in forests or other natural areas, such as rich woods, deciduous woodlands, ravines, thinly wooded bluffs, and the bases of bluffs.  Being an upland plant, it usually will not be found in wetlands.

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems:  All parts of this plant are poisonous.

More information on Actaea.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Misty Blue'
    Blueish-green foliage
'Misty Blue'
Tags:
#bees#white#showy flowers#poisonous#showy berries#fragrant flowers#perennial#white flowers#red berries#partial sun#shade tolerant#native perennial#shade garden#rabbit resistant#berries#herb garden#herbaceous#perennial flowers#white berries#poisonous berries#summer flowers#deer resistant#thickets#herbaceous perennial#wildflower garden#purple fruits#food source fall#food source pollen#piedmont mountains UPL#native#bird friendly#mammals#food source soft mast fruit#Coastal FACU#problem for cats#shade flowers#problem for dogs#problem for children#problem for horses#audubon#woodlands
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Misty Blue'
    Blueish-green foliage
'Misty Blue'
Tags:
#bees#white#showy flowers#poisonous#showy berries#fragrant flowers#perennial#white flowers#red berries#partial sun#shade tolerant#native perennial#shade garden#rabbit resistant#berries#herb garden#herbaceous#perennial flowers#white berries#poisonous berries#summer flowers#deer resistant#thickets#herbaceous perennial#wildflower garden#purple fruits#food source fall#food source pollen#piedmont mountains UPL#native#bird friendly#mammals#food source soft mast fruit#Coastal FACU#problem for cats#shade flowers#problem for dogs#problem for children#problem for horses#audubon#woodlands
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Actaea
    Species:
    pachypoda
    Family:
    Ranunculaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern North America
    Distribution:
    AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK,, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT, WI, WV
    Wildlife Value:
    Birds eat the berries. Bees collect the pollen. The seeds are eaten by white-footed mils (mouse) and Red-backed moles.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Wildlife Food Source
    Edibility:
    Not edible
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Perennial
    Poisonous
    Wildflower
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The fruit is a white berry (rarely red) with a dark purple dot which is formed by the flower stigma. The berries will remain on the plant until frost occurs. Fruit displays from August to October.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Dome
    Flower Petals:
    7 - 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The small white flowers resemble black cohosh but are in a shorter, cylindrical cluster on a short, terminal, erect raceme. The flowers have very small petals. The sepals fall as the flower opens. There is one pistil per flower. There are 10 to 28 flowers on each raceme. Flowers bloom from March to May.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Each stem will have two or three large, compound leaves. Each is spreading, pinnately divided with saw-toothed leaflets. Leaves may become yellowish when sunlight is excessive.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Description:
    The branched, flowering stems thicken after blooming. They will turn a showy red.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Heavy Shade
    Rabbits
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Children
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    High
    Poison Symptoms:
    Poisonous if ingested especially the roots and berries can cause death in humans, livestock and pets. TOXIC ONLY IF LARGE QUANTITIES EATEN. CAUSES SEVERE PAIN IN THE MOUTH IF EATEN! Burning of mouth and throat; salivation; severe stomach cramps, headache, diarrhea; dizziness and hallucinations.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Unknown, glycoside or essential oil, protoanemonin
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Bark
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Roots
    Seeds
    Stems