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The Baneberry plant, also known as bugbane or cohosh, is a flowering plant that is indigenous to the subtropical regions of Europe, Asia, and North America and belongs to the buttercup family. It is known as the “doll’s eye” plant because its berries resemble eyeballs with deep purple pupils at the end. The leaves of the plant are compound and have flowering sections on the stems. It is an herbaceous perennial and can grow from 12 to 30 inches in height at maturity with a slightly higher spread in woodland regions with moist, nutrient-rich soil and some partial tree shade. The Baneberry is best suited for growing in USDA plant hardiness zones three to eight. The minimum weather the baneberry can handle is -40 degrees to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. After planting in late autumn and winter, the Baneberry yields white flower clusters during the May through June summer months. More specifically, Red Baneberry produces its berries during May in the first half of the summer while white berries sprout in June and the later summer months. Additionally, a black variety exists with showier flowers and is thus a better choice for landscaping than either the red or white varieties. Once planted, care for the plant is minimal although it should be watered regularly in hot, dry weather. As a plant used in landscaping, one would be advised to plant carefully around wandering children as the berries themselves are poisonous and can lead to cardiac arrest. However, the roots of the plant have been used by Native Americans as an aid in menstrual cramping and menopausal discomfort. The plant's medium height makes it a great addition to the middle section of a perennial bed. The white berries have pinkish stems that allow the plant bed to pop and will garner more attention than the casual glance.
The Baneberry Plant is a perennial wildflower that will bloom in the summer months of July and August. The blooms are a spectacular white through summer. These give way to berries in the fall that will attract a variety of birds, squirrels, and other wildlife. This wildflower can also provide color from very early spring all the way through summer and into the autumn months. It is quite a hardy plant and very easy to grow.