Lakes & Rivers
Green False Hellebore
This very tall, lily like plant can be distinguished by its enormous lily like leaves
massive spiked flower head. The overlapping, smooth margined oval leaves,
taper to a point and clasp the stem. The prominent veins run parallel to
the margin. A single leafless stem rises and supports a large number of tiny
flowers in clusters that hang along on the short side branches. The star shaped,
greenish flowers, like most lilies, have six parts, and are just under 1 cm
in length. The plants are quite poisonous.
The flowers occur in clusters and the stems
will droop under the weight of the flowers.
The individual star shaped flowers have 6 petals and are pale green to
The leaves make this plant instantly
identifiable, flowers or not. This is helpful because the leaves occur much
earlier than the flowers. The leaves are
enormous, usually 10 20 cm long. Each leave is egg shaped to elliptical,
with smooth margins and distinctive parallel ribs along the length. The upper surface is smooth
and the lower surface is hairy.
The roots, rhizome and young shoots
are quite poisonous, containing steroidal alkaloids poisons. Humans and
cattle have been poisoned by green false hellebore.
the plants are poisonous, extracts from the
plant have been used in hypertension treatments and insecticides.
Bella Coola Indians used the plant for numerous medicinal purposes.
Decoctions of green false hellebore were used to treat bruises, stomach
pains, chronic cough and constipation. A poultice made from the bulbs were
used to treat rheumatism and heart problems.
This plant is
to be considered dangerous and should only be used by someone who understands
the plants medicinal properties. Being extremely poisonous, only those with a
good understanding of this plant should harvest it.