Nov. 16, 2021

red baneberry, Actaea rubra

Red baneberry, like its white sibling, is very toxic. The bright red attractive berries are the worst part. So of course the plant was used for medicine. Decoctions from the roots were most often used, and could be imagined to aid almost any ailment. Perhaps that imagining was also an effect of the plant. In 1903 A. E. Bacon ingested some red baneberries, and recorded what he experienced. The first effect was halucinations. The ultimate but not fatal sensations were rapid and unsteady pulse, and a sensation of heart fluttering. Red baneberry grows in woodlands in AK, AZ, CA, CO , CT, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, MA, ME, MI, MN, MT, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SD, UT, VT, WA, WI, WY, and all provinces of Canada. Ives Fen Preserve, Lenawee Co MI, 5/1/12. Buttercup family, Ranunculaceae.