Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
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Veratrum insolitum

Higher Taxonomy
Family: MelanthiaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: 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.
Genera In Family: 10 genera, 130 species: northern hemisphere. Note: W North America Zigadenus moved to Toxicoscordion.
eFlora Treatment Author: Dale W. McNeal, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Dale W. McNeal, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: VeratrumView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: 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.
Species In Genus: +- 25 species: northern temperate. Etymology: (Latin: dark roots) Toxicity: Alkaloids used medicinally and TOXIC to both livestock and humans.

Veratrum insolitum Jeps.
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. Chromosomes: n=16.
Ecology: Openings in thickets, mixed-evergreen forest on red clay; Elevation: > 900 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR; Distribution Outside California: to Washington. Flowering Time: Jun--Aug
eFlora Treatment Author: Dale W. McNeal
Jepson Online Interchange
Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

Previous taxon: Veratrum fimbriatum
Next taxon: Veratrum viride

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botanical illustration including Veratrum insolitum


Citation for this treatment: Dale W. McNeal 2016. Veratrum insolitum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 28, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 28, 2016.

Veratrum insolitum
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© 2008 Keir Morse
Veratrum insolitum
click for enlargement
© 2008 Keir Morse
Veratrum insolitum
click for enlargement
© 2008 Keir Morse
Veratrum insolitum
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© 1998 John Game
Veratrum insolitum
click for enlargement
© 1998 John Game
Veratrum insolitum
click for enlargement
© 2008 Keir Morse

More photos of Veratrum insolitum in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Veratrum insolitum:
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

View elevation by latitude chart
Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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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.