This section is from the book "A Guide To The Poisonous Plants And Weed Seeds Of Canada And The Northern United States", by Robert Boyd Thomson, H. B. Sifton. Also available from Amazon: A guide to the poisonous plants and weed seeds of Canada and the northern United States.
The White Baneberry, Actaea alba (L.) Mill., is known by various common names, Doll's Eyes, Coral and Pearls, White Beads, Necklace-weed. This plant causes trouble chiefly to children who are attracted by the berries. It is found in rich woods as far west as Ontario and Minnesota, and at fruiting time is known by its oval white berries in an oblong cluster, each berry being supported by a thick, red peduncle. The leaves are large and compound, with thin, notched leaflets, and the white flowers are very small.
The Red Baneberry, Actaea rubra (Ait.) Willd., resembles the white species but its leaves are less delicate and more coarsely toothed. The bright red berries are borne on peduncles which do not become thickened. There is a variety with white berries, but it can be distinguished from Actaea alba by the slender peduncles.
Its poisonous action is similar to that of the preceding.