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Please Help Identify

Posted by jennypat Zone 3b NW MN (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 17, 08 at 23:06

I live in NW Minnesota, on the prairie, but with a stand of trees behind my house. In this stand of trees I am sloowly removing invasive plants (buckthorn) and trying to establish native woodland plants. I came across this the other day, and have no idea what it is. At this point I only see the one plant.

This is growing in almost full shade, the soil here is heavy black clay with layers of leaf duff and is on the alkaline side.

The plant itself is only about 15" to 18" tall. I apologize for the blurry images, the breeze was blowing and these are the best I could get.

http://inlinethumb23.webshots.com/43670/2234969260091410488S425x425Q85.jpg

Side view

http://inlinethumb59.webshots.com/26810/2017895810091410488S425x425Q85.jpg
flower is about 1 1/2" diameter

http://inlinethumb13.webshots.com/39692/2389608130091410488S425x425Q85.jpg
view from top

Thank you
Jenny P


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Please Help Identify

Well I guess I don't know how to put in photos. I am going to try again here.

View from side, plant is about 15" to 18" tall
Shady plant

Flower is about 1 1/2" diameter
Shady plant

Veiw from above
Shady plant from above

Again I apologize for the blurry images.

Thank you
Jenny P


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RE: Please Help Identify

  • Posted by rbrady 5/Eastern Ia (My Page) on
    Tue, Jun 17, 08 at 23:26

It looks to me like Actaea pachypoda or "Doll's Eyes"

Rhonda


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RE: Please Help Identify

  • Posted by arcy MN zn 3/4 (My Page) on
    Wed, Jun 18, 08 at 8:25

I have this plant, you will see now that you give it room it will get bigger and bushier, next year. The white flower will turn to red berries this fall. They are poisonous so the birds don't seem to eat them. After asking and looking, a few years ago, I decided it was Red Bane Berry. I transplanted many from the deeper woods into my garden beds. The more sun seemed to be good for them.


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RE: Please Help Identify

Or the Red Baneberry, Actaea rubra. Either way, an absolutely wonderful plant. Also be on the lookout for Aralia racemosa, American Spikenard. If you don't have it growing naturally, try to find a source (that may not be easy). It grows large but stays graceful, has dark red stems, wonderful berries. You may be on the fringe of it's natuaral growing area.

BTW, when I was checking the USDA maps for Spikenard's range, I checked the Baneberries also, and it looks like the Doll's Eyes Baneberry doesn't occur naturally up in NW Minnesota, whereas the Red grows all the way up to Alaska. You'll find out for sure which one it is when the fruit comes.

Good luck with your woodland garden. The labor you put in will be well worth it. It's so wonderful to have a shady area at the height of the hot summers!


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Beat out by Arcy

Arcy's message wasn't there when I did mine! That's one reason I don't post very often, even on stuff I know (which isn't all that much!) Some else usually gets ther first and does all the work.


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RE: Please Help Identify

Don't NOT chime in, the more the merrier. I am back to look up what this "Doll's Eyes" looked like and I see it is related to my bane berry. I guess you may have to wait and see what color the berries are to be sure. It has been one of my favorite woodland finds!


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RE: Please Help Identify

My guess is Actaea rubra, both from dbs's info about the USDA maps, and my guide books, which say that the flower cluster of red baneberry is about as wide as it is tall (like yours), while doll's eyes (Actaea pachypoda) has a cluster that is taller than it is wide.

The Actaea rubra fruit is one of the few things in my somewhat subdued woodland garden that actually gets gasps out of visitors when they come around the corner and see it - the red (fire engine red? lipstick red?) is actually shocking (in a good way).

Enjoy,

- wd


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RE: Please Help Identify

Oh thank you all for the answers, I think the red baneberry is it. I am so glad it is going to be a treasure in my garden!

Jenny P


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RE: Please Help Identify

Here's mine from last year, right around this time.

Photobucket

- wd


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RE: Please Help Identify

Oh pretty! I am on the border of zone 3 and 4 so I most likely won't see the berries for a month or so! But I definatly will leave it! In fact I started a woodland garden with this as the main attraction. I didn't dig! I just popped in some soloman's seal, and Jack in the pulpit in the same area. This is not a garden anyone but me will see, or those I chose to show it too!

Jenny P


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RE: Please Help Identify

Hope your woodland project is going well. I wanted to tell you that the suggestion for American Spikenard (aralia racemosa) is great. I'm in Wisconsin, but my sister gave me her aralia from her woodland area just north of the Twin Cities...she was in zone 3, so that plant will do just great there for you. It's gorgeous. It looks like a shrub, but it's actually a large perennial and will die back each season.

Here is a link that might be useful: Aralia Racemosa Info


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