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Actaea rubra

Higher Taxonomy
Family: RanunculaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual, perennial herb, woody vine [shrub], occasionally aquatic. Leaf: generally basal and cauline, alternate or opposite, simple or compound; petioles at base generally flat, occasionally sheathing or stipule-like. Inflorescence: cyme, raceme, panicle, or flowers 1. Flower: generally bisexual, generally radial; sepals 3--6(20), free, early-deciduous or withering in fruit, generally green; petals 0--many, generally free; stamens generally 5--many, staminodes generally 0; pistils 1--many, ovary superior, chamber 1, style 0--1, generally +- persistent as beak, ovules 1--many. Fruit: achene, follicle, berry, +- utricle in Trautvetteria, in aggregate or not, 1--many-seeded.
Genera In Family: +- 60 genera, 1700 species: worldwide, especially northern temperate, tropical mountains; many ornamental (Adonis, Aquilegia, Clematis, Consolida, Delphinium, Helleborus, Nigella). Toxicity: some highly TOXIC (Aconitum, Actaea, Delphinium, Ranunculus). Note: Taxa of Isopyrum in TJM (1993) moved to Enemion; Kumlienia moved to Ranunculus.
eFlora Treatment Author: Margriet Wetherwax & Dieter H. Wilken, family description, key to genera
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: ActaeaView Description 

Common Name: BANEBERRY
Habit: Perennial herb from stout, branched caudex. Stem: 1--few, ascending to erect, branched or not. Leaf: 1--4, generally 1--3-ternate or -pinnate. Inflorescence: raceme, axillary or terminal. Flower: sepals 3--5, petal-like, early-deciduous; petals 4--10, spoon-shaped to obovate, clawed; pistil 1, placentas 2, ovules several. Fruit: berry.
Species In Genus: +- 8 species: temperate North America, Eurasia. Etymology: (Greek: ancient name, from wet habitat, similarity to Sambucus leaves) Toxicity: Fruit TOXIC to humans.
eFlora Treatment Author: Bruce A. Ford & Dieter H. Wilken

Actaea rubra (Aiton) Willd.
Habit: Plant (2)3--10 dm. Stem: few-branched distally, sparsely puberulent. Leaf: 10--40 cm, lower 2--3-ternate, upper 1--2-ternate, leaflets 2--9 cm, toothed to irregularly cut, lateral lanceolate to ovate, terminal widely ovate to +- round. Inflorescence: pedicels spreading to ascending, 5--8 mm, 6--37 mm in fruit. Flower: sepals 2--5 mm, +- white or +- purple-green; petals +- = sepals, white; stamens 3--7 mm. Fruit: 5--10 mm, red or white, shiny. Chromosomes: n=8.
Ecology: Deep soils, moist, open to shaded sites, mixed-evergreen or conifer forests; Elevation: < 2800 m. Bioregional Distribution: NW, CaR, SN (exc Teh), SnFrB, SCoRO, SnBr; Distribution Outside California: to Alaska, northeastern North America. Flowering Time: May--Sep
Synonyms: Actaea rubra subsp. arguta (Nutt.) Hultén
eFlora Treatment Author: Bruce A. Ford & Dieter H. Wilken
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botanical illustration including Actaea rubra


Citation for this treatment: Bruce A. Ford & Dieter H. Wilken 2016. Actaea rubra, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 01, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 01, 2016.

Actaea rubra
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© 2009 Barry Breckling
Actaea rubra
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© 2003 Steve Matson
Actaea rubra
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© 2003 Steve Matson
Actaea rubra
click for enlargement
© 2010 Barry Breckling
Actaea rubra
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© 2004 George W. Hartwell
Actaea rubra
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© 2010 Keir Morse

More photos of Actaea rubra in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Actaea rubra:
NW, CaR, SN (exc Teh), SnFrB, SCoRO, SnBr;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.