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White Cohosh Actaea

Other plants called White Cohosh:

Phonetic Spelling
ak-TY-ah
This plant has high severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

In the buttercup family, Actaea spp. are perennial herbs grown from a thick rhizome that emerges in the spring.  They will produce one or more branching stems.  Depending on the variety, each stem will have either three leaves that branch towards the top or three compound leaves and one flower stalk from the central stem.  Their leaves are spreading, pinnately divided with toothed leaflets. The flowers are small and white in a terminal, erect raceme.  The fruit is white, red, or purplish-black berries with a black dot and often on thick, red stalks.  The black dot's on the berries lead to the common name, Doll's Eyes. 

It can be grown in an area with partial to full shade but will produce more flowers when placed in sunlight.  When grown in deep shade, the stalks will bend toward bright light.  

The poison does not affect birds, they will eat the fruit.  Small mammals will not eat the pulp but will consume the seeds.

It is typically found in forests or natural areas, as well as rich woods.

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems:  All parts of this plant are poisonous, with the berries and roots being the most hazardous.  

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
A. pachypoda, A. podocarpa, A. racemosa, 'Black Negligee', 'Misty Blue', 'Pink Spike'
Tags:
#white#showy flowers#poisonous#fragrant flowers#perennial#white flowers#red berries#native perennial#rabbit resistant#herb garden#white berries#poisonous berries#deer resistant#herbaceous perennial#pollinator plant#purple fruits#native#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for children#problem for horses
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
A. pachypoda, A. podocarpa, A. racemosa, 'Black Negligee', 'Misty Blue', 'Pink Spike'
Tags:
#white#showy flowers#poisonous#fragrant flowers#perennial#white flowers#red berries#native perennial#rabbit resistant#herb garden#white berries#poisonous berries#deer resistant#herbaceous perennial#pollinator plant#purple fruits#native#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for children#problem for horses
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Actaea
    Family:
    Ranunculaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    USA, Europe
    Distribution:
    Mountains, Piedmont; gardens
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts butterflies, bees, beetles, flies, and hummingbirds.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Fragrance
    Wildlife Food Source
    Edibility:
    Not edible
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Herb
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Poisonous
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Purple/Lavender
    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 white, red, or purplish-black. Berries have a black dot, often on thick, red stalks.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    7 - 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Flowers are small and creamy white in a terminal, erect raceme. The numerous stamens give the flower clusters a feathery appearance.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Description:
    Deep green foliage. Leaves are spreading, pinnately divided with toothed leaflets. The underside of the leaf may be lighter in color than the top.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Small Space
    Walkways
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    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. Can cause death in humans and may cause death in livestock or 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