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Published In: Species Plantarum 1: 504. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 9/8/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted

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2. Actaea L. (baneberry, snakeroot)

Plants perennial herbs, with rhizomes or persistent, somewhat woody bases. Stems erect. Leaves alternate and sometimes also in a basal rosette, 2 or 3 times pinnately compound, the leaflets ovate to broadly lanceolate. Inflorescences terminal and axillary, many-flowered racemes or panicles with racemelike branches. Flowers actinomorphic, perfect. Sepals 3–5, greenish white, 2–6 mm long, plane or somewhat concave, not persistent at fruiting. Petals 4–10, white or cream-colored, 2–4 mm long, plane. Stamens showy, the anthers white or yellow. Staminodes absent. Pistils 1–8, each with 4 to numerous ovules. Style present or absent. Fruits follicles or berries, ovoid, ellipsoid, or spherical, the tip with a tubercle or beak 0.5–2.5 mm long, the outer wall thick, not prominently veined. Receptacle not much enlarged at fruiting. About 20 species, North America, Europe, Asia.

Species with follicles are often split off as a separate genus, Cimicifuga L. ex Wernisch., but the two groups are very closely related (Compton et al., 1998). Ramsey (1988) presented characters for separating vegetative specimens of Actaea from morphologically similar genera of Ranunculaceae.

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