This tall moisture-loving perennial inhabits moist open woodlands and the damp soils along mountain creeks. Tight clusters of finely-petaled flowers give way to bright red (or sometimes white) berries.
Birds love the berries, but they are poisonous to humans (hence the name). The white variety is sometimes called 'doll's eyes' (creepy!) but it's an eerily accurate description.
These lovely plants are a perfect addition to an irrigated flower garden. They go beautifully with angelica, nettle-leaf giant hyssop, cow parsnip, and western coneflower.