Plant of the week #1 (Sep. 9-15)
#education
I… I just can’t. I felt pain researching this thing. Not from what it does. There’s just something so unsettling about the eyes. Why would anyone want to cultivate this? But yeah, that’s why it’s short.

NAME:
Doll’s eye
White baneberry

SCIENTIFIC NAME:
Actaea pachypoda

EDIBILITY:
Deadly

SPECIES:
A. pachypoda

FAMILY:
Ranunculaceae

RANGE:
The doll’s eye is located in the moist deciduous forest in eastern North America and Europe. The baneberry thrives off an evenly moist area to get planted in and unlike most other plants, the baneberry survives more effectively in shaded areas. This plant bears berries in the summer and keeps them until they are either removed or destroyed (most commonly from frost or icy conditions)

DESCRIPTION:
The white baneberry is an extremely bizarre plant, if not abundantly clear from just the pink alien-like stalk alone. The plant can grow to 1.6 feet (48 centimeters). To place that in perspective, the plant when at maximum height can grow to be larger than some small breeds of dog or most cats. The berries are also a very striking feature. The berries are spherical and white, with a black discoloration near the center of the plant. This feature is what earned the white baneberry its pseudonym of the doll’s eye. The plant oddly bears leaves and produces white flower clusters in May and June. The leaves can be 1 foot 4 inches (40 cm) long and 1 foot (30 cm) broad. The berries typically have a radius of around 1.6 inches (4.1 cm)

EFFECTS OF CONSUMPTION:
The baneberry is an extremely dangerous plant. Every part of the plant is toxic to humans, but not birds, who are the main carriers of the plant’s seeds. The berries contain heavy doses of cardiogenic toxins. Consumption of one of the berries results in instantaneous cardiac suspension in humans. Briefly, after a complete shutdown of the cardiac system, the victim experiences cardiac arrest and death.
SOURCES:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Actaea_pachypoda (website)
https://www.thespruce.com/white-baneberry-profile-4125671 (website)