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Taxon  Report  
Veratrum californicum  Durand
California false hellebore
Veratrum californicum is a perennial herb that is native to California, and also found elsewhere in western North America.
Siskiyou Del Norte Modoc Humboldt Shasta Lassen Trinity Plumas Tehama Butte Mendocino Glenn Sierra Yuba Lake Nevada Colusa Placer Sutter El Dorado Yolo Alpine Napa Sonoma Sacramento Mono Amador Solano Calaveras Tuolumne San Joaquin Marin Contra Costa Alameda Santa Cruz Mariposa Madera San Francisco San Mateo Merced Fresno Stanislaus Santa Clara Inyo San Benito Tulare Kings Monterey San Bernardino San Luis Obispo Kern Santa Barbara Ventura Los Angeles Riverside Orange San Diego Imperial

Bloom Period
Subspecies and Varieties:
Genus: Veratrum
Family: Melanthiaceae  
Category: angiosperm  
PLANTS group:Monocot
Jepson eFlora section: monocot

Toxicity: Do not eat any part of this plant.

Arid West: Occurs usually in wetlands, occasionally in non wetlands
Mountains, Valleys and Coast: Equally likely to occur in wetlands and non wetlands

Habitat: meadows

Communities: Douglas-Fir Forest, Yellow Pine Forest, Red Fir Forest, Lodgepole Forest, Subalpine Forest, wetland-riparian

Name Status:
Accepted by PLANTS

Information about  Veratrum californicum from other sources
Nursery availability from CNPLX
This plant is available commercially.

Photos on Calflora

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Photos on iNaturalist

ID Tips on PlantID.net

[Wikipedia] Range, Habitat, Description, Varieties, Teratogenic effects: Veratrum californicum (California corn lily, white or California false hellebore) is an extremely poisonous plant[1] native to western North America, including the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains, as far north as Washington and as far south as Durango; depending on latitude, it grows from near sea level to as high as 11,000 feet.[2][3] It grows 1 to 2 meters tall, with an erect, unbranched, heavily leafy stem resembling a cornstalk.[4] It prefers quite moist soil, and can cover large areas in dense stands near streams or in wet meadows. Many inch-wide flowers cluster along the often-branched top of the stout stem; they have 6 white tepals, a green center, 6 stamens, and a 3 branched pistil. The buds are tight green spheres. The heavily veined, bright green leaves can be more than a foot long.[3] Veratrum californicum displays mast seeding; populations bloom and seed little in most years, but in occasional years bloom and seed heavily in synchrony.[5] The species usually blooms during midsummer from July to August.[6] Varieties[2] Veratrum californicum var. californicum from Washington to Durango Veratrum californicum var. caudatum (A.Heller) C.L.Hitchc. Idaho, Washington, Oregon, N California Teratogenic effects It is a source of jervine, muldamine and cyclopamine, teratogens which can cause prolonged gestation associated with birth defects[7] such as holoprosencephaly and cyclopia in animals such as sheep,[1] horses, and other mammals that graze upon it. These substances inhibit the hedgehog signaling pathway.[8] (contributed by Mary Ann Machi)

Suggested Citation
Calflora: Information on California plants for education, research and conservation, with data contributed by public and private institutions and individuals. [web application]. 2024. Berkeley, California: The Calflora Database [a non-profit organization]. Available: https://www.calflora.org/   (Accessed: 05/25/2024).