[False Hellebores: The Genus Veratrum East of the Cascade
Mts. of Oregon and Washington]
California False Hellebore, Californica Wild Hellebore, White False Hellebore, Skunk Cabbage
Veratrum californicum var. californicum
Synonyms: Veratrum eschscholtzii var. watsonii, Veratrum jonesii, Veratrum speciosum
The photo above shows a close-up of the flower of white false hellebore as seen along the Umatilla Rim Trail #3080 near Tollgate, Umatilla N.F..........June 24, 2007. The petals of this species are whitish with green venation, and a greenish center.
The stems of white false hellebore are mostly single, erect
and rising to 2.5 meters in height. The stems are glabrous below the inflorescence,
softly hairy within the inflorescence.
The leaves are numerous and parallel veined, with the basal
leaves ovate to broadly elliptical or oblong-lanceolate in shape. The lower
leaves measure from 20-30 cm long and from 10-20 cm wide. The leaves are narrower
higher on the stem and reduced in size.
The inflorescence is a dense panicle, freely branched, with
the branches rising or held to the side. The flowered branches do not droop
as in green false hellebore (Veratrum viride).
The six tepals (petals and sepals look alike) are obovate or broadly elliptical
in shape, and white with a greenish tint (numerous green lines running the length
of the tepals too). They measure from 10-17 mm long. The stamens are roughly
1/2 to 2/3 as long as the tepals.
White False Hellebore is a plant of moist areas, from swamps,
stream sides, meadows, and moist woodlands. It is found from the lowlands into
Variety californicum is found wholly east of the Cascade
crest. It is found from central Washington and Oregon eastward to the Rockies,
and south to Mexico.
The photo at left shows white false hellebore in bloom in wetlands alongside Oregon Highway 3 to the north of Enterprise, OR.........July 7, 2008. The photo at right shows white false hellebore as seen blooming with broad leaf lupines (Lupinus latifolius var. latifolius) along the Baneberry Trail #812 on the north side of Lookout Mountain..........July 10, 2017.
The photo above shows white false hellebore in bloom in wetlands alongside Oregon Highway 3 to the north of Enterprise, OR.........July 7, 2008.
The photo above shows a close-up of white false hellebore as seen along the Umatilla Rim Trail #3080 near Tollgate, Umatilla N.F..........June 24, 2007. The branches of the inflorescence ascend rather than droop in this species.
This photo shows the emerging stems of white false hellebore as seen along forest road #4030 on the eastern slopes of Mt. Misery in the Umatilla N.F. of southeastern Oregon.........July 7, 2008. Drifts of snow had closed this road to all traffic just a week earlier.
Close-up views of California false hellebore as seen at Steptoe Butte in eastern Washington..........June 22, 2009.
California false hellebore as seen along Forest Road #42-200 in a meadow below the gate on Round Mountain, Ochoco National Forest.........July 11, 2017.
Emerging leaves of California false hellebore as seen along the Line Butte Trail #807 on the southern approach to Lookout Mountain, Ochoco National Forest..........May 22, 2017.
Emerging stems of California false hellebore as seen only several days after the snow has melted under the aspens at Jackman Park Campground, Steens Mountain of southeastern Oregon..........June 2, 2012.