In rich, moist woods, swamps, and wet meadows, and usually associated with the Skunk Cabbage and Marsh Marigold, the rank-growing foliage of the Hellebore flourishes with a tropical vigorousness. The stout, leafy stalk rises from two to eight feet in height, and is round smooth, and green. The large, hairy, bright green leaves are deeply pleated with numerous parallel ribs, and are broadly oval, and tapering at the apex. They clasp the stalk, and graduate in size as they approach the top. The lower leaves are often a foot long. The numerous, unattractive, dull yellowish-green flowers have six spreading, petal-like parts and six short, curved stamens. They are densely crowded on rather open, branching terminal spikes, and each flower is guarded with a small leaflet. The rootstock is long and thick with many fleshy, fibrous rootlets. It has a disagreeable odour, and is very poisonous, but possesses important medicinal qualities. The stiff, spear-like shoots are very noticeable in the early spring. The species is also found along mountain streams from May to July, and ranges from Alaska and the British Possessions south to Minnesota, Tennessee and Georgia. Five different species of Viratrum are found growing within the United States.