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Actaea Linnaeus. Subfamily: Ranunculoideae. Tribe: Cimicifugeae. Baneberry.

Key to Actaea

A genus of about 28 species, perennial herbs, of temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Compton, Culham, & Jury (1998) support the inclusion of Cimicifuga in Actaea, based on morphologic and molecular analyses.

ID notes:In rich coves and other mesic Appalachian forests, Actaea often grows with a number of other herbs with similarly compound leaves, including Astilbe (Saxifragaceae), Aruncus (Rosaceae), Caulophyllum (Berberidaceae), Angelica, Thaspium, Osmorrhiza, and Ligusticum (Apiaceae), Aralia (Araliaceae), Thalictrum (Ranunculaceae), and others. The curious evolutionary convergence of leaf morphology (to a 2-3-ternately compound form) of a large number of unrelated genera of Appalachian cove forests is interesting.

Ref: Compton, Culham, & Jury (1998); Ford (1997c) In Flora of North America Editorial Committee (1997); Park & Lee (1996); Ramsey (1987); Ramsey (1988); Ramsey (1997) In Flora of North America Editorial Committee (1997); Tamura In Kubitzki, Rohwer, & Bittrich (1993). Show full citations.

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image of plant© Bruce A. Sorrie | Actaea pachypoda | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Erik Danielson | Actaea rubra source | Original Image ⭷

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