Green False Hellebore, Indian Poke

Veratrum viride

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



Water Requirements:

Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Seward, Alaska

Tilton, New Hampshire

Morristown, New Jersey

Salem, Oregon

Leesburg, Virginia

Gardeners' Notes:


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.


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


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.