This article has been marked as incomplete and in need of reformatting. Please help us to improve it.

Practical Plants is a community wiki. You can edit this page to improve the quality of the information it contains. To learn how, please read the editing guide.

Uses

Toxic parts

All parts of the plant are highly poisonous[1][2][3][4][5]. After the plant dies down in the autumn and has been frosted, the toxins decrease and the plant becomes harmless to animals[6].

Edible uses

Notes

One report says that the leaves have been used in soups[7]. The plant is highly toxic, so this use is probably best avoided[K].
There are no edible uses listed for Veratrum viride.

Material uses

The dried and powdered root is used as an insecticide and a parasiticide[8][9][6]. It is also effective against caterpillars and mammals so great caution is advised[1][3][10].

The roots have been grated, then added to the laundry water and used to clean clothing[7].

A fibre obtained from the stem is used for weaving wallets etc[11].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Indian poke is a highly toxic plant that was widely employed medicinally by several native North American Indian tribes who used it mainly externally in the treatment of wounds, pain etc[7]. It is rarely used in modern herbalism, though it is of potential interest because it contains steroidal and other alkaloids and chelidonic acid. Some of these alkaloids lower blood pressure and dilate the peripheral vessels - they have, for example, been used in conventional medicine to treat high blood pressure and rapid heart beat[12][6][13].

Any use of this plant should be carried out with great caution and preferably only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner[14]. Even when applied externally to unbroken skin it has been known to cause side-effects[13]. See also the notes above on toxicity The root is analgesic, diaphoretic, emetic. expectorant, febrifuge, narcotic and sedative[2][14][7]. It has been used in the treatment of acute cases of pneumonia, peritonitis and threatened apoplexy[15]. A decoction of the root has been used in the treatment of chronic coughs and constipation[7]. A portion of the root has been chewed, or a decoction used, in the treatment of stomach pain[7]. The roots are harvested in the autumn and can be dried for later use[13]. The root has been used to make a skin wash and compresses for bruises, sprains and fractures[7]. The powdered root has been applied as a healing agent to wounds[12] and as a delousing agent[13]. The stems have been scraped and the powder snuffed to induce sneezing[7]. An infusion of the leaves has been used as a wash to treat aches and pains[7].

The plant is used in homeopathic preparations to slow the heart rate[13].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Unless stored in damp sand at around 4°c the seed has a short viability[16]. Where possible it is best to sow the seed in a lightly shaded position in the greenhouse as soon as it is ripe[16]. Stored seed needs to be stratified but can be very slow to germinate. Germination can be erratic even for seed sown when it was fresh, it usually takes place within 3 - 12 months at 15°c but can be much longer[16]. The plant produces just one seedleaf in its first year, this forms an over-wintering bulb. It takes up to 10 years for the plant to reach maturity[16]. Sow the seed thinly so there is no need to thin or transplant them, and grow the seedlings on undisturbed in the pot for their first two years of growth. Apply a liquid feed at intervals through the growing season to ensure the plants do not become nutrient deficient. At the end of the second year plant out the dormant plants into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for a further year or two before planting them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer.

Division in March/April or in October. Establish the plants in pots in a shaded frame before planting them out[16]. Division is best carried out in the autumn because the plants come into growth very early in the spring[17].

Root cuttings, 6mm long with a bud, rooted in a sandy soil in a cold frame[16].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Veratrum viride. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Requires a deep fertile moisture retentive humus-rich soil[16]. Succeeds in full sun if the soil does not dry out but prefers a position in semi-shade[16]. Dislikes dry soils, preferring to grow in a bog garden[18]. Grows best in a cool woodland garden or a north facing border[18].

Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[17]. Plants are long-lived and can be left in the same position for years without attention[17].

In some N. American Indian tribes, following the death of a chief, all the young aspirants to be chief were given a drink of this toxic plant and the person least affected was deemed to be the strongest and therefore made chief[16].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Veratrum viride. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Veratrum viride.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Veratrum viride
Genus
Veratrum
Family
Melanthiaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
3
Heat Zone
?
Water
high
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    2 x meters
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

    "image:Veratrum veride2.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Veratrum veride2.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Veratrum veride2.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Veratrum veride2.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Veratrum veride2.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


    "image:Veratrum veride2.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Veratrum veride2.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Veratrum veride2.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Veratrum veride2.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Veratrum veride2.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Veratrum veride2.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Veratrum veride2.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Veratrum veride2.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Veratrum veride2.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.






    References

    1. ? 1.01.11.2 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.12.2 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.13.2 Stary. F. Poisonous Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-35666-3 (1983-00-00)
    4. ? Elias. T. and Dykeman. P. A Field Guide to N. American Edible Wild Plants. Van Nostrand Reinhold ISBN 0442222009 (1982-00-00)
    5. ? Frohne. D. and Pf?nder. J. A Colour Atlas of Poisonous Plants. Wolfe ISBN 0723408394 (1984-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.16.26.36.4 Craighead. J., Craighead. F. and Davis. R. A Field Guide to Rocky Mountain Wildflowers The Riverside Press ISBN 63-7093 (1963-00-00)
    7. ? 7.007.017.027.037.047.057.067.077.087.097.107.11 Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.1 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.1 Riotte. L. Companion Planting for Successful Gardening. Garden Way, Vermont, USA. ISBN 0-88266-064-0 (1978-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.1 Turner. N. J. Plants in British Columbian Indian Technology. British Columbia Provincial Museum ISBN 0-7718-8117-7 (1979-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.112.2 Coffey. T. The History and Folklore of North American Wild Flowers. Facts on File. ISBN 0-8160-2624-6 (1993-00-00)
    13. ? 13.013.113.213.313.413.5 Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (1996-00-00)
    14. ? 14.014.114.2 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
    15. ? 15.015.1 Phillips. R. & Foy. N. Herbs Pan Books Ltd. London. ISBN 0-330-30725-8 (1990-00-00)
    16. ? 16.016.116.216.316.416.516.616.716.816.9 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    17. ? 17.017.117.2 Thomas. G. S. Perennial Garden Plants J. M. Dent & Sons, London. ISBN 0 460 86048 8 (1990-00-00)
    18. ? 18.018.1 Grey. C. H. Hardy Bulbs. Williams & Norgate. (1938-00-00)

    "image:Veratrum veride2.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.