1. syggyx says

    For fuck sake, there is “Jesus loves you” ad below this picture half the size of the picture!

  2. Carlie says

    One of my favorites! I didn’t know about it until I moved to the northeast. It’s an easy one to identify even without the fruits. Common name in these parts: doll-eyes.

  3. Anj says

    Doll-eyes or baneberry.

    It’s a native plant and yes, as the name “baneberry” suggests, it is toxic. It’s an understory plant of deciduous woodlands.

    Or I should amend that to “toxic to mammals”. Many fruits/seeds/berries/nuts that are toxic to many mammals are not toxic (or as toxic) to birds – which are the preferred consumers of the fruit and dispersers of the seeds.

  4. pHred says

    It is looking at you … and me and those guys over there.
    It is the poster plant for the totally paranoid !

  5. RFW says

    Common name, “dolls’ eyes”. I’ve got a modest clump by my front walk where it gets little direct sun. Rather nice, sort-of-ferny foliage during the spring and summer before the berries put on their show.

    Easy from seed. Sow in fall when the berries are ripe and leave the pot outside for the winter.

    Due to its toxicity, not a plant for gardens infested by toddlers.

  6. rablerowser says

    One of the common names of Actaea pachypoda is “Doll’s Eyes.” The name is derived from the fact that the stigmatic region of the fruit is dark giving an overall appearance of a small eye. During the days of Settlement in North America the fruits were harvested and stitched onto children’s dolls, hence the name.

    The macabre connection of this plant is less well known. Young children, being young children, put nearly everything in their mouths. Members of this genus contain cardiac toxins that can cause rapid death, especially in humans of low body weight. Thus the gift of doll to a child was often a kiss of death!

  7. Big Boppa says

    I have one of these in my front yard in Chicago. It’s been coming up every year for 20 years or more. Never seen one anywhere else in the city and I’m kind of a wild flower enthusiast so I notice things like that.

  8. MetzO'Magic says

    Organic chemistry!

    John Morales FTW! That’s what it reminded me of too, one of those ubiquitous molecular diagrammes. I majored in EE, and was always a little bit in awe/angst regarding my pre-med brethern.

  9. jakc says

    Clearly, evolution couldn’t create non-working eyes, so this MUST be proof of intelligent design. Scientifc progress goes boink!

  10. piranhaintheguppytank says

    Is Homeland Security genetically engineering plants?

    Now you can’t even enjoy nature without being spied on.

  11. Bill says

    Wow, it’s a SCORPION STARE bush-robot! We’ll be ready for CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN, you betcha!

    (Yeah, I’ve been listening to a lot of Charles Stross audiobooks lately. Does it show?)