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MELANTHIACEAE FALSE-HELLEBORE FAMILY

Dale W. McNeal, except as noted

Perennial herb, from rhizome or bulb, or rhizomes ending in weakly developed bulbs, scapose or not. Leaf: alternate, whorled, or mostly basal and spirally arranged, deciduous after 1 year or not. Inflorescence: raceme, panicle, or flowers 1. Flower: perianth parts 6, in 2 petal-like whorls or of sepals and petals, free or fused below, ± spreading; stamens 6, from perianth, anthers attached at base or near middle; ovary superior or partly inferior, chambers 3, styles 3, persistent. Fruit: capsule, loculicidal or septicidal.
10 genera, 130 species: northern hemisphere. W North America Zigadenus moved to Toxicoscordion. —Scientific Editors: Dale W. McNeal, Thomas J. Rosatti.

Key to Melanthiaceae

VERATRUM CORN LILY, FALSE-HELLEBORE
Plant coarse, leafy; rhizome thick. Stem: erect, 1–2 m, simple, hollow. Leaf: many, alternate, lanceolate to widely ovate, clasping, generally acute at tip, coarse-veined, reduced upward. Inflorescence: panicle; flowers many. Flower: bisexual or staminate; perianth parts 6, free, spreading, petal-like, white or ± green to red-brown, nectary glands 1–2 near base; stamens 6, attached to perianth; ovary ± inferior, chambers 3, styles 3, short, stigmas long. Fruit: capsule, septicidal.
± 25 species: northern temperate. (Latin: dark roots) Alkaloids used medicinally and TOXIC to both livestock and humans.

Key to Veratrum

V. insolitum Jeps. SISKIYOU FALSE-HELLEBORE
NATIVE
Leaf: elliptic; lower 10–23 cm, hairy below and on sheaths. Inflorescence: generally 20–50 cm, ± gray woolly; branches ascending; pedicels 6–15 mm. Flower: 6–9 mm; perianth parts widely ovate, white to ± yellow, hairy, outer irregularly shallowly fringed, glands 2, elliptic, ± green; stamens ± = perianth; ovary woolly. Fruit: 2–3 cm, oblong-ovoid, ± woolly. Seed: 10–15 mm, widely winged.
n=16. Openings in thickets, mixed-evergreen forest on red clay; > 900 m. Klamath Ranges; to Washington. Jun–Aug [Online Interchange] {CNPS list}

Previous taxon: Veratrum fimbriatum
Next taxon: Veratrum viride

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Apr 21 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2012. Veratrum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=47828, accessed on Apr 21 2014

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click for enlargement Veratrum insolitum
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2008 Keir Morse

Bioregions in which Veratrum insolitum occurs Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.