Actaea alba

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Actaea alba (L.) Mill.

Ranunculaceae

Life form: perennial
Usage: ornamental plant

Exposure: half shade   3

Moisture: moist

Soil: gritty loam

Arrangement: alternate
Leaves: decidious

Shape: ovate

Division: bipinnate

Shape: many-stellate
Fruit: berry

N999D / ffffff 

Inflorescence: raceme

Petals: single
Habit: erect

Growth form: clump-forming

Taxonomy

Divisio:
Magnoliophyta
Subdivisio:
Magnoliophytina
Classis:
Ranunculopsida
Subclassis:
Ranunculidae
Superordo:
Ranunculanae
Ordo:
Ranunculales

Actaea alba is a perennial.

Naming

Taxonomy

Actaea alba is a species in the genus Actaea which contains approximately 37 to 45 species and belongs to the family of the Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family).

Characteristics

Actaea alba - fruits

Growth

The perennials have a clumpforming habit and reach heights of 80 to 90 centimetres.

Leaves

Actaea alba is deciduous. The dark-green, bipinnate leaves are alternate. The leaflets are ovate and petiolate. They have dentate margins and palmate venation. The leaves are around 60 to 80 centimetres large.

Flowers and Fruits

Actaea alba produces racemes of erect, white many-stellate flowers from May to June.

The perennials produce ornamental white berries from summer to autumn.

Root System

Distribution

Actaea alba is native to the eastern US and the central US.

Cultivation

The perennials prefer a half-shady situation on moist soil. The substrate should be gritty loam with a pH between 4 and 7,5. They tolerate temperatures down to -40°C (USDA zone 3).

Classification after Prof. Dr. Sieber

  • woodland borders (soil usually rich in humus)
  • woods (soil usually rich in organic material)

Uses

Actaea alba is considered a valuable wild perennial. The ornamental value lies especially in its fragrance. The recommended planting distance is 30 centimetres, the perennials are best planted in groups of 3 to 5. Suited as specimen plant.

Maintenance and Propagation

The plants need little to no maintenance if grown under suitable conditions.

  • If possible the plants should not be transplanted.

Propagate by sowing or by division.

Cultivars

Poisonousness

Actaea alba is toxic.

Aeskulap  Please read the health issues note

Pests and Diseases

Literature

  • Walter Erhardt, Erich Götz, Nils Bödeker, Siegmund Seybold: Der große Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
  • Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.

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