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Loughmiller, Campbell and Lynn
Veratrum viride Aiton
Green Corn Lily, Green false hellebore
Synonym(s): Veratrum eschscholtzianum, Veratrum eschscholtzii, Veratrum eschscholtzii var. incriminatum, Veratrum viride ssp. eschscholtzii, Veratrum viride var. eschscholtzii
USDA Symbol: vevi
A stout plant with large leaves clasping stem that bears a branching cluster of greenish, star-shaped, hairy flowers.
The ribbed, yellow-green leaves of this wetland plant are conspicuous in spring; the plant withers away before summer. It is said that some Native American chiefs were selected only if they survived eating this poisonous plant. The two other false hellebores in the East have hairless flowers: Small-flowered Veratrum (V. parviflorum), with leaves stalked and mostly basal, occurs in drier woods from Virginia to Georgia, eastern Tennessee, and West Virginia. Woods False Hellebore, (V. woodii), with greenish-purple to blackish-purple flowers, is found in dry woods from Ohio to Missouri and Oklahoma, and in Iowa.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow , Green , Brown
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul
, WY Canada: NB
, QC Native Distribution:
New Brunswick, Quebec, and New England; south to Maryland and, in uplands, to Georgia and Tennessee; west to Minnesota. Native Habitat:
Swamps, wet woods, and meadows.
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Wet
Soil Description: Clay, Loam, Sand
BenefitWarning: POISONOUS PARTS: All parts. Toxic if eaten in large quantities. Symptoms include burning of mouth and throat, salivation, headache, stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, sweating, convulsions. Toxic Principle: Steroidal alkaloids. (Poisonous Plants of N.C.)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Native Seed Network
- Corvallis, ORMt. Cuba Center
- Hockessin, DE
Record Last Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff