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PlantFiles: Green False Hellebore, Indian Poke
Veratrum viride

Family: Melanthiaceae
Genus: Veratrum (VER-uh-trum) (Info)
Species: viride (VEER-ih-dee) (Info)

4 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Weezingreens
Thumbnail #1 of Veratrum viride by Weezingreens

By Weezingreens
Thumbnail #2 of Veratrum viride by Weezingreens

By Weezingreens
Thumbnail #3 of Veratrum viride by Weezingreens

By kennedyh
Thumbnail #4 of Veratrum viride by kennedyh

By kennedyh
Thumbnail #5 of Veratrum viride by kennedyh

By Linnea
Thumbnail #6 of Veratrum viride by Linnea

By Weezingreens
Thumbnail #7 of Veratrum viride by Weezingreens

There are a total of 11 photos.
Click here to view them all!


1 positive
No neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative UUWoman On Jun 4, 2013, UUWoman from Morristown NJ
United States wrote:

These plants began sprouting all over my garden in early spring. I tried pulling and digging them up, but couldn't get to the root. They grow by rhizomes and I tried spraying with vinegar to kill them. Some are wilting, but in order to really get rid of them, I probably will have to resort to Roundup. While they are fairly small currently, they grow to eight feet!!! I wonder if anyone else in northern NJ has had this problem.

Negative 1922 On Jul 28, 2004, 1922 from San Antonio, TX wrote:

I have property 6 miles west of Beulah,co which has wet lands with abundant False Hellebore,I would like to know how to rid myself of this plant as I wish to have cattle on the land. Do you have a reccomendation?..Also what fruit trees will grow at 9000 ft level in Colorado?...Thank you...Charles Castro

Positive Weezingreens On Aug 30, 2002, Weezingreens from Seward, AK (Zone 3b) wrote:

False hellebore grows in moist low areas or along streams from Southcentral Alaska to California. Early Americans used Veratrum medicinally, and it is used in pharmaceuticals today, but its toxic alkaloids make this plant poisonous to ingest. Handling the plant can cause skin irritations.

The young plant looks much like a large celery-green bud with deep parallel veins. As it grows, the leaves swirl around the plant in an interesting way. I first noticed V. viride in a low area on a neighbor's property in Seward, Alaska. I'm eager to take a photo of this plant in the spring.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Seward, Alaska
Tilton, New Hampshire
Morristown, New Jersey
Salem, Oregon
Leesburg, Virginia

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