An under-utilized woodland plant about 60 cm tall, bearing a cluster of small white, fragrant flowers in late spring, followed by the highly ornamental, some say, odd-looking fruits. The white berries present a black spot (the stigma scar) and are displayed on red, thick stalks, hence the common name doll’s eyes. They are poisonous if ingested like any other baneberry.
It can be used solitary or in groups in the woodland garden, or in any partly shaded, moist spot of the garden. It would be a great plant for the Halloween garden, but the berries, which start looking like doll eyes towards the end of August, don’t last that long.
Germination: seeds will germinate after alternating periods of cold-warm-cold (moist), about 2 months each. Place them in a bag with moisten vermiculite and move it in and out of the fridge. If this is too much trouble sow and let the pots outdoors to follow the natural temperatures, it will germinate in the second year.