red baneberry

(Actaea rubra ssp. rubra)

Conservation Status
red baneberry
  IUCN Red List

not listed


N5? - Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed

Wetland Indicator Status
  Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland


FACU - Facultative upland

  Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland


Red baneberry is a 18 to 36 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises from a large, thick rhizome.

The stems are erect and hairless.

The leaves are alternate. The lower leaves are on long stalks, the upper leaves on shorter stalks. They are divided into 3 segments, with each segment divided into 3 leaflets. The leaflets are egg-shaped to oblong and may be unlobed or have 1 to 3 lobes. The margins have deep, sharp, irregular teeth. The upper leaflet surface is hairless. The lower surface is usually hairy, at least with hairs along the veins.

The inflorescence is a dense, ball-like cluster on a long stalk with 25 or more flowers rising at the end of the stem or from an upper leaf axil. It is ¾ to 6¾ long and about as wide as long.

The flowers are ¼ wide. There are 4 to 10 white petals which soon fall off leaving 15 to 50 stamens.

The fruit is a nearly globular berry containing several seeds. It is usually red, sometimes white (f. neglecta). When fruiting the pedicels are dull green or brown and slender, thinner than the stalk to which they are attached.




18 to 36


Flower Color




Similar Species


White baneberry (Actaea pachypoda) leaflet lower surface is usually hairless. The flower clusters are slightly elongated. The berries are white, rarely red. When fruiting the pedicels are bright red and stout, as thick as the stalk to which they are attached.

The form Actaea rubra f. neglecta has white berries.


Moderate moisture. Woods.




May to June


Pests and Diseases






Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 24, 28, 29, 30.









  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Ranunculanae  


Ranunculales (buttercups, poppies, and allies)  


Ranunculaceae (buttercups)  
  Subfamily Ranunculoideae (anemones, buttercups, larkspurs and allies)  
  Tribe Actaeeae (baneberries, cohoshes, and winter aconites)  


Actaea (baneberries and cohoshes)  
  Section Actaea  
  Species Actaea rubra (red baneberry)  

Subordinate Taxa



  Actaea spicata ssp. rubra  

Common Names



red baneberry


western baneberry













The upper angle where the leaf stalk meets the stem.



On plants: the stalk of a single flower in a cluster of flowers. On insects: the second segment of the antennae. On Hymenoptera and Araneae: the narrow stalk connecting the thorax to the abdomen: the preferred term is petiole.



A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

Visitor Photos

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Nancy Falkum



    red baneberry      


    red baneberry   red baneberry  
    red baneberry   red baneberry  
    red baneberry   red baneberry  
    red baneberry   red baneberry  


    red baneberry   red baneberry  


    red baneberry   red baneberry  


    red baneberry   red baneberry  
    red baneberry   red baneberry  


    red baneberry   red baneberry  

White fuit on red baneberry (f. neglecta)

    red baneberry   red baneberry  
    red baneberry   red baneberry  
    red baneberry   red baneberry  



Red Cohosh (Actaea rubra)
Andree Reno Sanborn
  Red Cohosh (Actaea rubra)  



Visitor Videos

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Other Videos
  02 Actaea rubra Séquence 4-Vivaces printanières 1 (iPhone et iPod).m4v
Jean Désorcy

Uploaded on Jan 9, 2010

L'actée rouge du printemps à l'automne. Red Banberry from spring to fall. Actaea roja de la primavera hasta el otoño.

  Red Baneberry
Xan Bonneau

Published on May 15, 2013

No description available.

  Sweet Cicely and Baneberry

Published on Aug 6, 2013

Part 4 in an ongoing series of documentaries on wild edible, medicinal, and toxic plants. I'm covering "Sweet Cicely" and "Baneberry" with a focus on how to tell them apart from one another. All video footage is recorded by me on the GoPRO Hero 2. Some of the pictures taken from reputable sources on the internet.

Click 6:42 to skip to Baneberry.




Visitor Sightings

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Be sure to include a location.
  Nancy Falkum

Location: Bald Eagle Bluff SNA


red baneberry  
  Connie Thompson

Location: In my flower bed (weed bed) next to my house which is right next to Hwy 34, east of Detroit Lakes, MN about 2 miles.

Missed seeing the flowers but the red berries caught my eye.


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