About Doll's Eyes: Dollís Eyes, a woodland plant, is named for its unique berries that are white with a black dot. The entire plant is poisonous, ranking as one of the top ten most deadly plants in the United States. Its cardiogenic toxin sedates the cardiac muscles and will cause a quick death if consumed by humans. Strangely, the berries are harmless to birds. In spite of the plantís dangerous effects, its white flower cluster has a lovely rose-like scent that attracts many insects.
Doll's Eyes Germination: To break its dormancy this seed needs a period of cold moisture, a period of warm moisture, followed by another period of cold moisture. Mix the seed with moist sand and store it in the refrigerator for 60 days, then move it to a 70-75 degrees F location for 30-60 days, followed by another 30-60 day period in the refrigerator before planting. To accomplish this naturally, simply plant the seed in late fall and wait until the second spring after planting for germination. Treated seed can also be started indoors in late winter. Sow seed on the surface of a flat, pressing it down slightly but not burying the seed. Keep the soil very moist until germination, which should occur within 14 days. When plants reach 3-4Ē in height, transplant them 18-24" apart. Treated seeds can also be direct sown 1/4Ē deep in early spring; keep the temperature at 65-70 degrees F and the soil consistently moist until germination. Dollís Eyes plants prefer clay or coarse loam soils, and grow best in forest settings with part to full shade and good drainage.
Growing Doll's Eyes Seeds: Keep the soil moist, and do not let it completely dry out between waterings. This plant grows rather slowly, and may not flower until its second year of growth. Since it self-sows freely, remove the clusters of berries if you do not want volunteer plants next season. After several years of growth, the plant can also be divided.
Harvesting Doll's Eyes: Every part of this plant is extremely poisonous. Use extreme caution when coming into contact with its leaves or berries.
Saving Doll's Eyes Seeds: Collect the berries when they are overripe, keeping in mind that all parts of the plant are highly poisonous. To remove the flesh from the seeds, mash the berries slightly and add water. Work the mixture to separate the seeds from the pulp, and drain off the water. The good seeds will sink to the bottom of the container. Let the seeds dry, then store them in the refrigerator until planting.
Detailed Doll's Eyes Info: Origin: US Native Other Common Names: White Baneberry, White Cohosh, White Doll's Eyes, Evil Eyes Duration: Perennial Bloom Time: Early Summer Height: 18-24 inches Spacing: 18-24 inches Light: Woodland Soil Moisture: Medium USDA Zone: 4a-9b Seeds Per Oz: 5,000 Produces divided green leaflets with serrated edges, clusters of white flowers, and red-stemmed clusters of small white berries.