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Veratrum viride

Common Name: False Hellebore
Family: Liliaceae

Description: This perennial has large leaves which branch off the single stem. The flowers also form a triangular mass on top of plant.
The oval shaped leaves are found alternate each other clasping the stem. They are strongly ribbed with parallel veins and are up to 12 inches long. 
The flowers appear between May and June. They are star shaped with six petals. They grow in a pyramidal panicle cluster at the top of the plant.
Seedpods turn black when ripe. Division of the plant rootmass is another way of dispersal for this plant.
Stem: The stems are leafy and unbranched.
Branching Pattern:
Height: 2-8 feet
Conditions/Habitat/Kind of Forest: Can be found in swamps, moist meadows and along the banks of streams.
Known Wildlife Interactions: Provides protection to amphibians that hide in the leaves. Most animals avoid this plant due to its toxic amounts of alkaloids.
Range: Found in Minnesota, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and South to Maryland and the uplands of Georgia.
Conservation Status-US/ World Wide: Not threatened in U.S. or globally.
Uses (Human): Not used for anything due to poisonous amounts of alkaloids.

Newcomb, Lawrence. Newcomb's Wildflower Guide. 1977. pg 346

Peterson, Roger T., MicKenny, Margaret. Wildflowers: Northeast/ North-Central Amercia. Peterson Field Guides.1996. pg 370

Cox, Donald D. A Naturalist's Guide to Wetland Plants: An Ecology for Eastern North America. Syracuse University Press. 2002. pg 102

Redington, Charles B. Plants in Wetlands. Redington Field Guides.1994. pg. 206

Connecticut Wildflowers.  January 20, 2006.  Connecticut Botanical Society.  Accessed:  January 20, 2006. <>

Plants for a Future.  June 2004.  Accessed: January 20, 2006.  <>

The Pennsylvania Flora Project.  Botany Department, Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania.  Accessed:  January 20, 2006. <

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species <>

This page was created by: A Coiro, Muhlenberg College
Photos by: L. Rosenberg, edited by N. Smith
Last updated 04/25/06