Common Name
Botanic Name
Actaea rubra
Plant Family
Woods, and montane forests, especially in moist ground.
Animals Affected
Cattle, horses, people.
Baneberry - Actaea rubra
Toxic Principle
All parts of the plant contain the glycoside ranunculin that is converted rapidly to the irritant protoanemonin. It causes irritation to the mouth, and gastrointestinal tract. It is also passed into the milk of lactating animals imparting a bitter flavor. No losses of life either human or livestock have been recorded in the United States but in Europe references are found concerning the death of children who have eaten the conspicuous red or white berries.
Erect perennial herbaceous plants with thick root stalks. The leaves are large with the lower ones petioled and the upper nearly sessile. The leaflets are ovate-lanceolate, serrate, 3-5 lobed. The petals are shorter than the stamens and are white. Stamens are numerous with the filaments flattened. The fruiting pedicels are elongated up to 20 mm long with red or white berries.
Salivation, colic and diarrhea. Vomiting in people eating the berries.
Removing affected animals from the bane berry usually results in recovery.
Ocular System
Special Notes
Rarely a problem to animals! Children are attracted to the showy berries!
Baneberry (Actaea rubra) white berried variety
Flower of Baneberry