False Hellebore – Veratrum viride

False Hellebore Family – Melanthiaceae

Actual flower size: 1/2 inch across

Actual flower size: 1/2 inch across

False Hellebore is also called Green False Hellebore, Corn Lily, and Indian Hellebore.

Plant Description:  False Hellebore is a 3 to 6 foot tall perennial. The single stem is stout, erect, hairy and leafy. The leaves are very large (10 to 14 inches) long, clasp the stem, and point upwards. They are oblong with pointy tips, strongly parallel-veined, looking almost pleated, and are hairy beneath and along upper veins. There are 12 to 25 inch-long clusters of many small (.25 to .5 inch), greenish-yellow flowers. The clusters droop markedly, especially the lower ones.

Flower Description: The flowers are 1/2 inch across. The 6 tepals are oblong, greenish yellow with darker green veins and a dark green center, widely spaced and widely spread, hairy on the outside, with irregular teeth.  There are 6 short stamens.

Ecology: False Hellebore grows along stream banks and in wet meadows at subalpine and alpine elevations.


  • False Hellebore has been moved from the Lily Family to the False Hellebore Family.  See “APG Changes” page.
  • It has a musky odor.  All parts of the plant are VERY poisonous
  • False Hellebore is the largest member of the Lily Group in the Pacific Northwest, growing from its rhizome to 6 feet tall each year.

 False Hellebore Photo Gallery


Actual flower size: 1/2 inch across