Actaea Species, Baneberry, Red Baneberry, Snakeberry

Actaea rubra

Family: Ranunculaceae (ra-nun-kew-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Actaea (ak-TEE-uh) (Info)
Species: rubra (ROO-bruh) (Info)
Synonym:Actaea alba
Synonym:Actaea arguta
Synonym:Actaea aspleniifolia
Synonym:Actaea californica
Synonym:Actaea caudata



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring


Grown for foliage


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:

Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:


Rockford, Illinois

Valparaiso, Indiana

Munising, Michigan

Isle, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota

New Ulm, Minnesota

Saint Peter, Minnesota

Helena, Montana

Buffalo, New York

Oneonta, New York

Pittsford, New York

Voorheesville, New York

Salem, Oregon

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Port Orchard, Washington

Appleton, Wisconsin

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Gardeners' Notes:


On May 27, 2013, plant_it from Valparaiso, IN wrote:

Red Baneberry is a lovely woodland native with fine-textured foliage and a light and airy texture. Its lacy leaves resemble those of Astilbe and its similar needs make it a great native substitute. In late spring and early summer lightly scented, delicate white flowers appear above the foliage. Flowers give way to clusters of bright red berries in late summer that are attractive to mammals and many songbirds. Planted in groups, it is a lovely groundcover and it combines well with other woodland natives such as wild ginger and wood ferns.

Grow Actaea rubra in part or full shade and moist, rich soils. It will be happy in the shade of conifers or deciduous trees, but will have more flowers if morning or afternoon sun is available. Baneberry benefits from allowing leaf litter to... read more


On Aug 26, 2002, Weezingreens from Seward, AK (Zone 3b) wrote:

Red Baneberry often grow beneath the cottonwood trees in Southcentral Alaska. It has a compact growing habit, and both the tiny clustered flowers and bright red berries are attractive. Though it transplants well, this plant should not be brought into the garden if there is any likelihood that the berries will be eaten, since they are extremely poisoness.


On May 29, 2001, poppysue from Westbrook, ME (Zone 5a) wrote:

A native of North America that can be found growing in rich woods and thickets from Canada south to West Virginia. It's a bushy plant with divided leaves and clusters of 2-inch racemes of tiny white flowers. The faded flowers will form into clusters of bright red berries that last well into autumn. Berries are poisonous and caution should be taken if you have children. Plants prefer cool, moist and fertile soil in partial shade making them ideal for a woodland garden.