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Veratrum californicum Durand
California False Hellebore, Corn Lily, Cebadilla
Liliaceae (Lily Family)
USDA Symbol: VECA2
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
California False Hellebore or Corn Lily’s stiffly erect, leafy stalks rise 8 ft. and bear large, conspicuously pleated, oval leaves. The stalks are topped by showy dense clusters of white to greenish flowers. The flowers are star-like in design and numerous.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 8 feet tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Green
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
DistributionUSA: AZ , CA , ID , MT , NM , NV , OR , UT , WA , WY
Native Distribution: W. WA to s. CA, e. to MT, CO, NM & Mex. as far south as Durango
Native Habitat: Swamps; creek bottoms; moist meadows & woodlands
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Moist, heavy soil.
Conditions Comments: Corn lily is a bold specimen plant. In the garden, the old growth will need to be cut back as it turns brown. The plant is not bothered by gophers or deer.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationDescription: Propagation is possible, but not necessarily easy, from root divisions or seed. Seedlings take several years to flower.
Seed Treatment: Seed requires prolonged cold-moist stratification.
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
Web ReferenceWebref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Veratrum californicum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Veratrum californicum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Veratrum californicum
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-03-01
Research By: TWC Staff