Sunday, May 18, 2008

Flowering Baneberry

White Baneberry or Doll's Eyes
(Actaea pachypoda)

I discovered this in the woods yesterday and couldn't resist capturing it on my memory card, the delightfully ornate and frilly white version of this wickedly poisonous deep woodland cousin which also occurs in a red berried form.

Later in the season, the white baneberry bears large waxy white berries, each with a large black dot on its end - the berries dance on red stalks which resemble the jacks used in that fine old children's game sometimes called fivestones and onesies. Just a few of the odd looking berries consumed can make one very sick indeed, and more than a few ingested can be fatal. They are (however) fetching creatures when they are in bloom in the woods in May.

Do children still play jacks on their playgrounds at recess, I wonder?

2 comments:

traveler one said...

I just found your blog today and am delighted to have spent some time with you. I love your wild thoughts and have noted them in my journal. I'll be back!

Ernestine said...

Jacks, my older grandchildren had never seen them. They are in college now but I can remember when I introduced them to the game.
Now my 2 little granddaughters 3 and 5 are being introduced and also to pick up sticks.
Wonder if these younger parents even know what jack are.
Continually enjoy your words and images.