Melanthium virginicum L. - Virginia Bunchflower

Melanthium virginicum plant

Family - Liliaceae

Stems - No info. yet.

Melanthium virginicum stem

Leaves - No info. yet.

Melanthium virginicum baseBase of plant.

Inflorescence - No info. yet.

Melanthium virginicum inflorescence

Flowers - No info. yet.

Melanthium virginicum flowerFlower close-up.

Flowering - June - August.

Habitat - Mesic upland prairies, fens, bottomland prairies, mesic upland forests, along streams, roadsides, railroads.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This showy species can be found scattered throughout Missouri. The plant grows to 1.5m tall and is easy to identify. The thin basal leaves and hairy stems are good characters for identification. Two similar species, Veratrum woodii J.W. Robbins and Stenanthium gramineum (Ker Gawl.) Morong, have leaves of different widths than Melanthium. The leaves of Veratrum woodii are much larger and more broad. Those of Stenanthium are thin and grass-like.
This plant, and many in the lily family, are toxic if eaten.
A synonym for the plant is Veratrum virginicum (L.) Aiton.

Photographs taken at Providence Prairie, Lawrence County, MO., 6-18-05.