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Home / Perennials / Woodland Wildflowers / Doll's Eyes (Actaea)

Doll's Eyes (Actaea)

SKU: AM014813
per Bag of 2
No longer available this season.
Doll’s Eyes (Actaea) is the plant that looks back at you in the landscape! A fun, North American native of moist woodlands, Doll’s Eyes is known for its distinctive white fruits that are held in clusters on top of thick red stems. When not fruiting, the soft blue-green foliage, reminiscent of astilbe, is a lovely addition to cool, shady gardens. (Actaea pachypoda)
key features
Botanical Name
Actaea pachypoda
Native, Naturalizes, Fragrant, Winter Interest
Growing Zones
Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5, Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8
Light Requirements
Half Sun / Half Shade, Full Shade
Soil Moisture
Moist / Wet
Mature Height
26-30" tall
Mature Spread
24-36" wide
Bloom Time
Late spring to early summer


26-30” tall x 24-36” wide. If you’ve got a shady garden with rich, moist soil, Doll’s Eyes (Actaea) will thrive and bring ‘the unusual’ to that garden in late summer. Also known as baneberry, this long-lived perennial has a pleasing texture and habit, covering itself with soft, off-white bottlebrush blossoms in mid-spring. In summer, small white fruits develop with a purplish-black ‘eye’ which is actually the scar from the flower stigma. The effect is charming, but although it might be thought of as a choice for children’s gardens, all parts of the plant are poisonous. Doll’s Eyes requires steady moisture, but also requires well-drained soil as it cannot sit in standing water. It’s a great choice for the edges of a woodland blessed with humus-rich soil. Not only will it benefit from the shade and organic matter, the gardener will benefit from seeing those wonderful berries up close.