Root. - Poisonous, coarse and fibrous. Stem. - Stout, two to seven feet high, very leafy to the top. Leaves. - Broadly oval, pointed, clasping. Flowers. - Dull greenish, inconspicuous, clustered. Perianth. - Of six spreading sepals. Stamens. - Six. Pistil. - One, with three styles.
When we go to the swampy woods in March or April we notice an array of green, solid-looking spears which have just appeared above the ground. If we handle one of these we are impressed with its firmness and rigidity. When the increasing warmth and sunshine have tempted the veiny, many-plaited leaves of the false hellebore to unfold themselves it is difficult to realize that they composed that sturdy tool which so effectively tunnelled its way upward to the earth's surface. The tall stems and large bright leaves of this plant are very noticeable in the early year, forming conspicuous masses of foliage while the trees and shrubs are still almost leafless. The dingy flowers which appear later rarely attract attention.