Perennial herb from stout, branched, woody stem-base and fibrous roots; stems 1 to several, erect, 40-100 cm tall, usually branched, sparsely-hairy.
All stem leaves (one very low, and 1 or 2 mid- or upper-stem leaves), alternate, long-stalked, 2 to 3 times divided in threes or pinnately compound, the segments egg-shaped, (2) 3-9 cm long, the margins sharply cleft, irregularly toothed.
Inflorescence of terminal and axillary, many-flowered racemes, the flowers radially symmetric; flower stalks 5-8 mm long; petals 5-10, white to cream-coloured, 2-3.5 mm long, egg- to spoon-shaped, clawed; sepals 3 to 5, early deciduous, petal-like, round, whitish- or purplish-green, 2-4 mm long; pistil 1; stamens many, longer than the petals.
Berries, red or sometimes white, widely ellipsoid, 5-11 mm long; stalks 6-15 mm long; seeds brown, cone- to wedge-shaped, 3-3.5 mm long, surface wrinkled.
Fruit toxic to humans. The plant is usually red-fruited, however, the white-fruited forma neglecta (Gillman) Robins. can be more common in some localities.
If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.
Illustration Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia
||Value / Class
Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
of field plots
species was recorded in:
BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in
|BG(3), BWBS(294), CWH(189), ESSF(617), ICH(985), IDF(226), IMA(1), MH(8), MS(323), PP(4), SBPS(28), SBS(984), SWB(3)|
Source: Klinkenberg 2013
Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Actaea rubra subsp. arguta (Nutt.) Hultén
Actaea rubra subsp. rubra (Aiton) Willd.