White Baneberry

Topic Progress:

Native to the eastern half of the United States, white baneberry grows to about two feet tall.

The plant requires partial to full shade, regular moisture, and rich loamy soil. Because of the unique growth requirements, hikers find white baneberry in dense wooded areas, such as along the Appalachian Trail and within the mountainous regions of Vermont and New Hampshire. White baneberry develops white flowers during spring thaws and soon thereafter, produces one-centimeter diameter berries.

The round and white berries sport a black dot in the middle that makes spotting the berry easy, even as the plant grows within lush thickets. Given the nickname “Doll’s Eyes,” white baneberry dangles berries full of cardiogenic toxins that create deadly blood supply disruptions. Ingestion of just a few of the small berries leads to cardiac arrest.