Other common names: corn lily, green false hellebore, Island Halkomelem: qwunulhp, Gitxsan: sgants’iks (leaves & plant), malgwasxw (root), Wet’suwet’en: konye
Scientific name: Veratrum viride Aiton
Family name: Liliaceae (lily family)
Indian Hellebore is a perennial herb, that grows to be 0.7-2.0m long, with numerous, broad, green leaves growing off it’s stem. It has numerous star-shaped flowers, yellow-green in colour, that are present on branched, drooping tassels.
FOOD AND MEDICINAL USES
There are no known nutritional uses of this invasive plant, this is because it’s toxic components make it poisonous to both humans and animals. Consumption in high quantities can even result in death. Indian Hellebore has been used to cure skin and scalp conditions by grating it’s roots and incorporating it into bath water. The smoke of burnt hellebore has also been used as a decongestant.
General disclaimer: It is recommended that individuals seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally. The University of British Columbia is not responsible for any adverse effects that might result from the use of this plant.
- Plants from this genus are powdered to help create the garden insecticide, “Hellebore”.
- The Gitxsan people dried and sliced the rhizome, then burnt it to drive away evil spirits.
- Hunter’s have added it to their laundry to remove the smell of human.
- The Wet’suwet’en believed you would become lucky if you bathed in liquid from the roots of Indian hellebore.
LOCATION IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
Veratrum viride can typically be found in moist to wet meadows, thickets, swamps, stream-banks, and open forests from the lowland and all the way to the alpine zones of British Columbia.
LOCATION IN UBC
For more information on Indian hellebore visit E-Flora BC:
Indian hellebore (veratrum viride). (n.d.). Retrieved from http://bcheritage.ca/hazeltons/hellborf.htm
(n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.sfu.ca/halk-ethnobiology/html/plants/indianhellebore.htm
Dcrjsr (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
SB_Johnny (My photo) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved from https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/20/Veratrum_veride2.JPG