Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
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Veratrum viride

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 viride Aiton
Leaf: elliptic to widely ovate; lower 15--35 cm, sparsely curly-ciliate, abaxially hairy, adaxially veins sparsely short-hairy. Inflorescence: generally 30--70 cm, open, woolly; branches +- spaced, lower drooping; pedicels 2--5 mm. Flower: 6--10 mm; perianth parts oblanceolate to oblong, green to +- yellow, +- irregularly toothed, adaxially hairy, glands 2, elliptic, dark green or +- yellow; stamens +- 1/2 perianth; ovary glabrous. Fruit: 2--3 cm, oblong-ovoid. Seed: 7--10 mm, widely winged. Chromosomes: n=16.
Ecology: Wet subalpine meadows; Elevation: 1500--2000 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR; Distribution Outside California: to Alaska, eastern North America. Flowering Time: Aug--Sep
Synonyms: Veratrum viride var. eschscholzianum (Roem. & Schult.) Breitung
eFlora Treatment Author: Dale W. McNeal
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botanical illustration including Veratrum viride


Citation for this treatment: Dale W. McNeal 2016. Veratrum viride, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 06, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 06, 2016.

Veratrum viride
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© 2015 Barry Breckling
Veratrum viride
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© 2009 Barry Breckling
Veratrum viride
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© 2010 Keir Morse
Veratrum viride
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© 2010 Keir Morse

More photos of Veratrum viride in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Veratrum viride:
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.
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).

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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.