Veratrum nigrum

Black False Hellebore, False Hellebore

In Stock: 0.332 lb (Total:0.332lb)
  • VERATRUM nigrum

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Seed lots

0.3 lb


Germination test:
Seeds per lb:
0.33 lb
Collected in:
Crop year:
Min. hardiness zone:
Inventory ID:

Growing Info

Scarification: Soak in water, let stand in water for 6 hours
Stratification: warm stratify for 2 to 4 wks, cold stratify 14 to 16 wks.
Germination: keep moist, cover seedbed with some shade

Veratrum nigrum, also known as Black False Hellebore, is a stunning Eurasian perennial flower with a robust black rhizome that has been known since ancient times for its medicinal and toxic properties. Despite its name, it is not related to true hellebores and does not resemble them. The plant grows best in shade or partial shade with nutrient-rich soil, with wet or moist ground conditions. Although highly toxic to humans and animals, it is still used in gardens in Europe and Asia for its striking black flowers and height-addition. The plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. Veratrum nigrum is also used medicinally as a treatment for hypertension, cardiac failure, and pre-eclampsia during pregnancy. The plant is a known teratogen and is difficult to use safely in medicine. Additionally, it is used topically to kill parasites and to stop itching. In Asia, an extract of the herb is mixed with water in a 1-5% solution and used as a pesticide to kill fleas, their larvae, and their eggs in toilets. While it is a beautiful addition to any garden, caution should be taken when handling the plant due to its toxic properties.

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