January 17, 2019

Look at Those Eyes

Actaea pachypoda 'Misty Blue' in its pot at the plant sale

Janine Pineo Photo | Actaea pachypoda ‘Misty Blue’ in its pot at the plant sale

dolleyesActaea pachypoda ‘Misty Blue’ is a native plant that likes a bit of shade to produce its showy white fruit which give it one of its common names: doll’s-eyes. Also called white baneberry, this particular cultivar also sports foliage that tips toward blue. One of the featured the plants at this weekend’s Black Bear Beauties Plant Sale, the fruit is toxic to humans so keep in mind it is simply interesting to look at. The plant prefers moist, humusy soils in part to full shade, and in the right conditions the berries will help it naturalize, creating its own colony. The foliage will remind one of astilbe, with the plant reaching between 18 and 30 inches in height. The flower is a white puff of a thing, which, of course, turns into the rather impressive white berries with a black dot. The dot, it turns out, is the stigma scar.