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Veratrum californicum (California false hellebore)
Reveal, James L.

Veratrum californicum

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

19 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 8 feet tall.
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Green
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: 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 Conditions

Water 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.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes


Description: 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

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 on display at the following locations:

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Web Reference

Webref 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 resources

USDA: Find Veratrum californicum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Veratrum californicum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Veratrum californicum


Record Modified: 2023-03-01
Research By: TWC Staff

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