Actaea is comprised of eight species of woodland perennials with toothed leaves, fluffy flowers, and conspicuous berries. They are from temperate regions of the northern hemisphere and make useful additions to a woodland garden or shady border. The flowers are generally not showy, but the leaves are often attractive and the colorful berries, sometimes resembling doll’s eyes, stand out in the garden. Some species will thrive even in dry, full shade.
Noteworthy CharacteristicsThese are good woodland garden plants, but the berries are toxic.
CarePrefers cool, moist soil of moderate fertility that has been enriched with leaf mold in partial shade. Water during dry spells.
PropagationSow seed in autumn in a cold frame, or divide in early spring.
ProblemsRamularia and Ascochyta leaf spots and leaf smut can affect plants.