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This is one of many wonderful wildflowers that can be found in eastern deciduous woodlands during the spring. Doll's Eyes has attractive foliage and striking white berries, which become mature during the late summer or early fall. These berries resemble the eyes of old-fashioned china dolls, hence the common name. Another common name of this species is White Baneberry, which refers to the appearance of the berries and their toxic nature to humans. Another scientific name of this species is Actaea alba. The other species in this genus, Actaea rubra (Red Baneberry), is restricted to northern Illinois. This latter species has red berries (usually) and the pedicels of its flowers/berries are more slender than those of Doll's Eyes. Each berry of Red Baneberry contains more seeds (10 or more) than a berry of Doll's Eyes, and its seeds are smaller in size. However, there is an uncommon form of Red Baneberry that produces white berries.


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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