Doll’s Eye Facts
- The Doll’s Eye is a highly unique and rather distinctive species. It remains a flowering plant, endemic to a few of the eastern regions of North America.
- This incredibly fascinating plant evolved as closely related to the baneberry and typically blooms from early May to mid-June.
- The herbaceous species also generally grows in remote areas and rugged terrain, which usually makes it rather difficult to locate.
- The name derives directly from the highly distinctive, and to many, unforgettable, physical appearance of the multiple small fruits.
Doll’s Eye Physical Characteristics and Habitat
The Doll’s Eye developed as a herbaceous perennial species generally growing in coarse soil or even clay. It also thrives in the densest sections of forests.
Typical individuals of this remarkable small species also measure 24 in (61 cm) in height and the width averages around 36 in (91 cm).
The leaves generally appear rather broad, being almost as wide as they are long. The flowers develop small and white in color. These rarely grow to more than 0.2 in (5 m) in length.
It is the berries that give the plant its uniquely distinctive appearance.
Species: A. pachypoda
Doll’s Eye Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The Doll’s Eye appears mainly in the southern portions of the United States, usually in rather dense forests. It also seems to prefer the indirect light typical of such settings.
It is also a moderately toxic plant. The entire plant is poisonous to humans. Birds, however, appear to be immune to the toxins. Many species of native birds actually thrive on the plant.
The greatest concentration of toxin is contained within the unique looking berries. These slowly ripen during the summer, growing steadily more toxic.
The toxins of the Doll’s Eye are cardiogenic in nature. The chemicals they contain have an almost immediate sedating effect upon the muscles of the human heart. If consumed in sufficient quantity, the effect can be fatal.