Veratrum viride false hellebore Liliaceae VEVI; Bx, pb, vc (Z. Wang 2016); R, cr (U. Lorimer 2017), lc (E. Danielsen 5/2016);

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Veratrum viride.en.wikipedia.org (Accessed 5/2014).

Veratrum viride is a perennial monocotyledon to 2 m tall herb; long-lived, from thick fleshy roots radiating from upright rhizomes, stems hollow, upper stems hairy. 

Veratrum viride leaves.Zihao Wang.VC Pk. NYC.4/2016

Veratrum viride leaves.Zihao Wang.VC Pk. NYC.4/2016

Leaves alternate, sessile, to 35 long, smaller upwards, oblong-elliptic, pleated longitudinally by linear veins, slightly hairy below. 

Flowers yellow-green to green, radially symmetrical, 6 tepals, to 1 cm long; inflorescence terminal, branched, to 70 cm long, lower branches drooping; blooms May-July. Flowering only occurs occasionally. 

Fruit dry, a capsule to 3 cm long, seeds 20-40, winged, July-Aug. Does not flower for 7-10 years after seed germination. 

Wetland status: FACW+. 

Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent if still extant. Historical occurrence in Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Staten Island. Origin: Native. 

Habitat: Prefers wet soil, pH 4.5- 6.9, low nitrogen, sandy to organic soils. Typically found along woodland streams and in swamp forests (Gargiullo personal observation). 

Veratrum viride (false hellebore) plants emerging. Linda Kukol Native Flora of the Eastern United States, Jefferson, NJ, 4/2018

Veratrum viride (false hellebore) plants emerging. Linda Kukol Native Flora of the Eastern United States, Jefferson, NJ, 4/2018

Notes: Rhizome requires cold period to break dormancy (Mulligan and Munro 1987). Plant highly poisonous, contains the many steroid and other alkaloids. Sap apparently irritating. Used as a medicinal and poison by native Americans. Plants apparently not much damaged by insects. Attacked by some fungi including: Colletrotrichum lilacearumCylindrosporum veratrinum and Phyllochora melanoplaca (Mulligan and Munro 1987).