Syn.: Helleborus albus (L.) Gueldenst., Melanthium album (L.) Thunb.
Family: Melanthiaceae Batsch

Veratrum album

Distribution: Variable species, in the narrow sense from the mountains of central and southeastern Europe (southeastward to Romania). Related subspecies Veratrum album subsp. lobelianum has a wider distribution.

Ecology: It grows on mountain pastures and meadows, on damp grasslands and banks of forest streams. It blooms from July to August.

Veratrum album

Description: Perennial herb with a stout rhizome. The stem is simple, erect, 50–120(–175) cm tall, leaves alternate, mainly cauline, broadly ovate to elliptical, entire, many-veined, shortly pubescent beneath. Inflorescence a much-branched panicle, flowers 15–25 mm in diameter, tepals elliptical to lanceolate, white inside and greenish outside. Fruit is a capsule.

Threat and protection: White Veratrum is endangered and protected species in some European countries (e.g. Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland).

Note: It is a poisonous plant. Veratri albi radix contains up to 1.5 % of steroidal alkaloids, alkamines etc.

Veratrum albumVeratrum album
Veratrum album

These images were taken in Austria, Raxalpe (August 18, 2004).