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Veratrum viride

green false hellebore add to wishlist

Plant types and subtypes: Perennials

Light Requirements: sun, part-sun, part-shade

Water Use: medium, high

Soil Moisture: moist, wet

Soil Description: acid, neutral, alkaline, rich, average, loam, clay, sand

Height: 3'-6'

Bloom Time: May, June, July, August, September

Bloom Color: yellow, green, brown

Leaf Color: green, lime-green, multi-color

Hardiness Zone: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Additional Tags: bog plant, clumping, colonizing, medicinal, naturalizing, ornamental foliage, poisonous, pond margin plant, stream margin plant, swamp plant, wetland plant

Veratrum viride (green false hellebore)
  • Veratrum viride (green false hellebore)
  • Veratrum viride (green false hellebore)
  • Veratrum viride (green false hellebore)

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Description

Veratrum viride

Also known as:

green false hellebore

,

false hellebore

,

Indian poke

,

American white hellebore

,

green corn lily

Scientific Synonyms:

Veratrum eschscholtzianum, Veratrum eschscholtzii, Veratrum eschscholtzii var. incriminatum, Veratrum viride ssp. Eschscholtzii, Veratrum viride var. eschscholtzii

Description

Veratrum viride is an unusual and striking species. Its elliptical leaves can be over a foot long. They are green to lime-green in color. Their deep venation creates a shadow play, giving the impression that they are multicolored. The height of the plant itself can vary greatly, from 2' to over 6', depending on environmental conditions. The single, solid green stem, around which the leaves are arranged in a spiral pattern, produces a large, branched terminal inflorescence. The conspicuous flowers are yellowish-green, and form large clusters. All in all, this is a visually impressive plant.

Cultivation

Typically found in soggy low-lands, it also occurs naturally in drier open woodlands. It is not particular about soil and is well adapted to light, sandy soils as well as heavy clay, a pH ranging from acid to basic. Best grown in full sun where the conditions are wet, or in part shade where the conditions are dry. Very cold hardy. Zones 3-7

Propagation

Propagated from divisions or by root cuttings. This should be done when the plant is either breaking from dormancy in early spring, or going dormant in fall. If propagating from seed, it is best to sow them immediately after collection. Stored seeds will require a period of cold stratification. In either case, seeds can take up to a year to germinate, and their germination rate is low. Plants propagated from seed will take several years to mature.

Additional Notes

This species occurs in two distinct populations: an eastern one, and a western one. The divide is thought to have been brought on by glaciation of the middlle continent. Though the green false hellebore has been used medicinally by several North American Indian Tribes, as well as in conventional medicine, this species should be treated with caution. All parts of the plant should be considered poisonous if ingested in large quantities.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, CA, CT, DC, DE, GA, ID, MA, MD, ME, MT, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, TN, VA, VT, WA, WV, WY

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Liliopsida Monocotyledons
Subclass Liliidae
Order Liliales
Family Liliaceae Lily family
Genus Veratrum false hellebore
Species Veratrum viride green false hellebore