Veratrum nigrum

Veratrum nigrum

False hellebore

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does flower in June

Plant does flower in July

Plant does flower in August

Plant does not flower in September

Plant does not flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

  • Botanical name: Veratrum nigrum
  • Common name: False hellebore
  • Family: Melanthiaceae
  • Plant Type: Perennial, Deciduous

Veratrum nigrum makes a dramatic statement in the border. From whorls of large, bright green, conspicuously veined leaves emerge tall, branched spikes densely covered with small, star-shaped, purple-black flowers. It’s a magnificent choice for a mixed herbaceous border and works well with ornamental grasses and lighter-coloured blooms. 

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Grow Veratrum nigrum  in moist but well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade. Cut back the flower spike after blooming and divide congested clumps in spring or autumn. 

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All parts of the plant are toxic if ingested.

How to grow Veratrum nigrum

  • Plant size

    1.2m height

    50cm spread

  • Aspect

    East facing, south facing, west facing

  • Sun exposure: Full sun, dappled shade, partial shade
  • Hardiness: Hardy
  • Soil type: Well drained / light / sandy / clay / heavy / moist / chalky / alkaline / acidic

Plant calendar

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sow
Sow

Do not Sow in January

Do not Sow in February

Do not Sow in March

Do not Sow in April

Do not Sow in May

Do not Sow in June

Do not Sow in July

Do not Sow in August

Do Sow in September

Do Sow in October

Do not Sow in November

Do not Sow in December

Plant
Plant

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do not Plant in March

Do not Plant in April

Do Plant in May

Do Plant in June

Do not Plant in July

Do not Plant in August

Do not Plant in September

Do not Plant in October

Do not Plant in November

Do not Plant in December

Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does flower in June

Plant does flower in July

Plant does flower in August

Plant does not flower in September

Plant does not flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

Divide
Divide

Do not Divide in January

Do not Divide in February

Do Divide in March

Do Divide in April

Do Divide in May

Do not Divide in June

Do not Divide in July

Do not Divide in August

Do Divide in September

Do Divide in October

Do Divide in November

Do not Divide in December

Prune
Prune

Do not Prune in January

Do not Prune in February

Do not Prune in March

Do not Prune in April

Do not Prune in May

Do not Prune in June

Do not Prune in July

Do not Prune in August

Do Prune in September

Do Prune in October

Do not Prune in November

Do not Prune in December

Collect seeds
Collect seeds

Do not Collect seeds in January

Do not Collect seeds in February

Do not Collect seeds in March

Do not Collect seeds in April

Do not Collect seeds in May

Do not Collect seeds in June

Do not Collect seeds in July

Do not Collect seeds in August

Do Collect seeds in September

Do Collect seeds in October

Do not Collect seeds in November

Do not Collect seeds in December

Veratrum nigrum and wildlife

Veratrum nigrum has no particular known value to wildlife in the UK.

Is Veratrum nigrum poisonous?

Veratrum nigrum can be toxic.

Toxic to:

Toxic to Cats

Toxic to Dogs

Toxic to Horses

Toxic to People

No reported toxicity to:

No reported toxicity to Birds

No reported toxicity to Livestock

Plants that go well with Veratrum nigrum

93892
Plants

Miscanthus nepalensis

Himalayan fairy grass