Wildflowers & Trees Of Appalachia

Appalachia Through My Eyes – The Creepiest Plant

Dolls eye

The plant commonly called dolls eyes gives me the creeps. I adored baby dolls when I was a child, but every time I see the little white eyes hanging on the plant Actaea pachypoda (also called white baneberry) I get a bad case of the heebie jeebies.

The plant grows throughout the eastern US.

Last night’s video: Mountain Path 10.


Subscribe for FREE and get a daily dose of Appalachia in your inbox

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    October 23, 2021 at 8:09 pm

    I have never heard of it till now.

  • Reply
    donna sue
    October 23, 2021 at 5:48 pm

    I have never heard of these plants. I will have to ask my mom if she remembers them from growing up in Pennsylvania. Thank you for introducing them to me!

    Donna. : )

  • Reply
    October 23, 2021 at 12:40 pm

    It is always with regret that I did not pay more attention to the wild flowers growing up. Many trees were pointed out and we learned lots of history. Our teacher, Dad, not much of a flower fan. When reading your blog I often review an old post. and they are so very interesting. Many are new to me or I have forgotten them. I sure hope you review back also, Tipper, as there is a world of fascinating Appalachia facts, history, and culture in your years of blogging. This would all be new to your video viewers on YouTube, nd so interesting also to your faithful old blog readers. You are always ahead of the game, so I would imagine you had already thought of that. It is even more interesting and informative than your Smoky Mountain Dictionary 🙂

  • Reply
    October 23, 2021 at 11:26 am

    I never played much with dolls. I had 3 brothers and I was such a tomboy growing up. I only remember haven’t 1 doll really. You could pull her hair out like it was growing longer. (Blond) I don’t know if I have seen this kind if plant or not. I probably have , back up in the holler where I was raised. There were so many different kinds.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 23, 2021 at 11:09 am

    Kinda looks like an albino pokeberry don’t it? I’ve seen them but never thought about what they were called.

  • Reply
    October 23, 2021 at 10:31 am

    First I’ve heard of that plant. If I was out walking in the woods and saw it, I’d think it was creepy too. I’m always a learnin something new from you, Tipper. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Margie G
    October 23, 2021 at 9:29 am

    The leaves look like a grapevine ( sorta.) I’ve not seen the ugly little flowers, but I agree they’re not too attractive. If this is the plant I think it is, it’s an invasive vine in my upper terrace. It’s leaving here next spring… I want to ask have you got the money plant down there? In summer, they’re purple and tall. In the fall, they are round, silvery leaves that are simply beautiful. I went over the hill nearby and grabbed a bunch for a floral arrangement above my fireplace. I’m as happy as a crow with a shiny bauble over my find!!! I’d be glad to send you a picture or some seed of my friend the money plant!

  • Reply
    October 23, 2021 at 8:59 am

    I have never seen or heard of the plant. Hiking and roaming the hills of Kentucky used to be my favorite pass time. Most of my roaming is done on an ATV these days as I search for ginseng, papaws and persimmons. My next journey in the woods will be spent looking for the doll eye plant.

  • Reply
    Donna Brewton
    October 23, 2021 at 8:57 am

    Of course, here in my part of Texas one will not find the ” baneberry” plant. We’re much to arid. The eye is a little creepy. You’re right, they do look like baby doll eyes!
    I can recall the eyes were somehow an important part of my baby dolls. Maybe the eyes gave them life. Some opened and closed but most did not. Tiny Tears was the first I recall and I loved them all. Her eyes did not open and close just wept tears. She ended up with a washcloth for a diaper.
    I just keep on learning more and more of my Appalachian roots. Thanks, Tipper and to those who share their Appalachian experiences.
    Fall Blessings, DonnaB.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    October 23, 2021 at 8:15 am

    Doll’s eyes, the seed, certainly looks odd with china white ‘marbles’ and red stem colors. Those ‘eyes’ peep out at you from those big spreading leaves. That other name, “baneberry” suggests it either is, or was thought to be, a “bane” in some manner. It is one of those plants that I consider an indicator of good ginseng ground as it likes the cool, moist woods best. Another plant that also likes that type ground is “black snakeroot” with its big tall candle-like spikes of white bloom.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 23, 2021 at 6:52 am

    I didn’t play much with dolls. I can remember one and her name was Sweet Sue. Don’t ever remember seeing a Dolls Eyes Plant.

  • Leave a Reply