White hellebore, American falsehellebore, American hellebore, American white hellebore, bearcorn, big-bane, common swamp hellebore, devilís-bite, false hellebore, green hellebore, Indian poke, itchweed, pokeroot, swamp hellebore.
A perennial that is coarse, erect, 2 to 8 feet in height. Stems are leafy, unbranched, and grow from short, thick rootstock to 1 foot long. Leaves are alternate, broadly ovate to elliptical, entire, with parallel veining. Flowers are greenish-white to purple, inconspicuous, and in pyramidal panicles 2 feet long.
May to July.
Swamps and low ground, meadows, and banks of streams.
Roots in fall after leaves have died.
This plant is very poisonous. Its dried roots and rhizomes, when properly prepared, are a strong cardiac stimulant drug. It is emetic, diaphoretic, sedative, and analgesic.