photo of Actaea rubra

Actaea rubra

Red Baneberry

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Red baneberry is a bushy flowering perennial that offers a delightful textured appearance in the shade garden.

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Red baneberry is a bushy flowering perennial that features highly divided leaves with serrated edges, offering a delightful textured appearance in the garden. Clusters of small white flowers bloom on stalks that rise above the green foliage. The flowers give-way to shiny red berries, which are poisonous if ingested and should never be eaten by humans. Red baneberry prefers moist, well-drained, organically enriched soil, and partial shade. The seeds are slow to germinate and the plant may take several years before it flowers. Once the plant reaches maturity, the delicate green foliage and brilliant red berries that persist throughout the summer offer ornamental interest to your woodland garden. Companion plants include Northern Maidenhair fern (Adiantum pedatum) and Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum).

Wildlife Value: Small beetles and native Halictid bees are attracted to the pollen. Birds including American Robin, Gray Catbird and Wood Thrush readily eat the fruit, although poisonous to humans.

Plant Details:

Plant Type: Flower, Perennial

New Jersey Native: Yes

Bloom Times: Late Spring to Early Summer

Bloom Colors: White

Deer Resistance: Some

Attracts Pollinators and Wildlife: Bees and Other Pollinators, Birds

Salt Tolerance: Unknown

Hardiness Zone: 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b

Physiographic Region: All Regions in NJ

Soil Characteristics

Soil Type: Loam, Organic

Soil Moisture: Dry, Moist

Soil pH: Acidic, Slightly Acidic

Light Needs of Plant

Optimal Light: Partial Shade

Light Range: Partial Shade, Shade

Water Needs of Plant

Soil Moisture: Dry, Moist

Drought Tolerance: Low

Size and Growth Rate

Height: 1 - 3 ft

Spread: 1 - 2 ft

Growth Rate: Slow