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BogsHerbaceous Perennial

Actaea rubra

red baneberry

A clump-forming herbaceous perennial to 50cm, with bright green, divided leaves and spikes of small, fluffy white flowers in late spring and early summer, followed by glossy scarlet berries

Other common names
black cohosh
coralberry
see morerattlesnake herb
redberry
snakeberry
Synonyms
Actaea spicata 'Erythrocarpa'
Actaea erythrocarpa
see moreActaea spicata var. rubra
Actaea arguta
Actaea spicata var. erythrocarpa
Actaea rubra subsp. arguta
Actaea spicata subsp. erythrocarpa
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Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Clay
Loam
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Poorly–drained
pH
Acid, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring White Green
Summer White Green
Autumn Red
Winter
Position
  • Partial shade
Aspect

North–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Ranunculaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Clump forming
Potentially harmful
Toxic if ingested, contact may cause skin irritation. Wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling
Genus

Actaea are rhizomatous herbaceous perennials with compound leaves and small creamy-white flowers in short, erect, simple or branched terminal racemes, followed either by poisonous red, black or white berries, or by star-shaped clustered brown follicles

Name status

Correct

Plant range
North America

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How to grow

Cultivation

Best grown in cool, moist, reasonably fertile soil in partial shade but will tolerate most soils if enriched with organic matter

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown in pots in a cold frame in autumn or by division in early spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Wildflower meadow
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Cut back after flowering or fruiting

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

Generally disease free

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