Liliaceae - lily family

WeedsPoisonous PlantsHay Fever
Gerald A. Mulligan (Agriculture Canada, Ottawa, retired)
Veratrum viride Aiton, hellebore, vérâtre (eastern and western populations)
Tall coarse native herbs with thick rootstocks. In moist woods and open slopes. False hellebore occurs in the eastern part of our area whereas showy false hellebore is found in the extreme west. The two widely separated populations are often considered different varieties or subspecies. Both have caused sicknesses and deaths of humans, sheep, cattle, and poultry.

Zigadenus elegans Pursh, smooth camas, zigadene élégant and Zigadenus venenosus S. Watson, meadow camas, zigadene vénéneux
Bulbous perennials, from 1 to 2 feet (3 to 6 dm) tall, flowers greenish white to yellow. Smooth camas is widespread in moist meadows and open woods. Meadow camas is mostly confined to the plains and hillsides of our western prairie. Both smooth camas and meadow camas are very poisonous. Ingestion of their bulbs has caused sicknesses and deaths of humans. Grazing of all plant parts has resulted in sickness and death in sheep, cattle, and horses. Meadow camas has been especially deadly for grazing sheep.

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Weed Name Photo Weed Name Photo
false hellebore, vérâtre vert
(herbarium specimen)
showy false hellebore, vérâtre d’Eschscholtz
(herbarium specimen)
smooth camas, zigadene élégant meadow camas, zigadene vénéneux
(herbarium specimen)