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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

California False-hellebore - Veratrum californicum

Species of Concern

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S2
* (see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
USFWS:
USFS: SENSITIVE
BLM:
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 4

External Links






State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Rare in Montana, where it is known from a very localized area in the southwestern corner of the state.
 
General Description
California False-hellebore is a robust, herbaceous perennial with solitary, unbranched stems that are 1-2 m high and arising from thick rhizomes. The numerous, alternate, broadly elliptic, sessile leaves are 2-3 dm long, and they have entire margins and parallel veins and sheath the stem at the base. Foliage is glabrous below, with the stem becoming densely short-hairy above. The nearly sessile flowers are crowded in a narrow, erectly branched inflorescence that is 3-6 dm long. Each flower has 6 white, petal-like, narrowly elliptic tepals that are 10-15 mm long with green markings at the base. There are 6 stamens that are less than 1/2 as long as the tepals and a glabrous ovary that matures into an egg-shaped capsule that is 2-3 cm long.

Phenology
Flowering in July-August.

Diagnostic Characteristics
The more common and widespread Veratrum viride has greenish flowers, with petals that are 6-10 mm long and arranged on drooping branches of an open inflorescence.

Species Range
Present
 


Range Comments
In Granite County; WA to MT south to CA, AZ and NM (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Summary of Observations Submitted for Montana
Number of Observations: 8

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density

Recency

 

(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)



Habitat
Wet meadows and streambanks in the montane and subalpine zones.

Ecological Systems Associated with this Species

References
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Citation for data on this website:
California False-hellebore — Veratrum californicum.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from