Veratrum

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n Veratrum a genus of coarse poisonous perennial herbs; sometimes placed in subfamily Melanthiaceae
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • prop. n Veratrum (Bot) A genus of coarse liliaceous herbs having very poisonous qualities.Veratrum album of Europe, and Veratrum viride of America, are both called hellebore. They grow in wet land, have large, elliptical, plicate leaves in three vertical ranks, and bear panicles of greenish flowers.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n veratrum A genus of liliaceous plants, type of the tribe Veratreæ. It is characterized by stems clad with numerous broad plicate leaves contracted into a sheathing base. There are 9 species, four of which are natives of Europe and Siberia, the others of North America. They are tall, erect, robust perennials, growing from a thick rootstock with somewhat fleshy fascicled root-fibers. The flowers are purplish, green, or white, very abundant, in a terminal panicle, and followed by erect or reflexed capsules separated into three carpels. The species are known in general as white hellebore, especially V. album and V. nigrum of Europe, and V. viride of North America, species respectively with whitish, blackish, and green flowers; their rootstocks are powerfully emetic and cathartic. and are collected in quantities for medicinal use—V. album in Germany, and V. viride in North Carolina. Both are very acrid, occasioning excessive irritation of the digestive tract. V. album has also been knosvn as lingwort, and, from its effect as an errhine, as sneezewort; it is chiefly subalpine, and occurs from Europe to Japan; its roots furnish the alkaloids veratrine, jervine, rubijervine, and others, also cevadic acid. A poisonous gray powder prepared from it is used to destroy cater-E pillars; the fresh leaves are, however, freely eaten by Slugs and snails. V. viride, the principal American spe-cies, known also as Indian poke, and locally as itchweed, bugbane, and earth-gall, widely distributed in and near mountain regions from Georgia into Canada and from Oregon to Sitka, is a coarse herb from 3 to 7 feet high, with numerous conspicuously ribbed and plaited ample leaves, which are ovate, pointed, and clasping. The whole plant is a nearly uniform deep green, including the conspicuous flowers, which form a pyramidal inflorescence sometimes over a foot long. Its thick, fleshy rootstock is sharp and bitter in taste, was used as an emetic by the Indians, and is also now in local use as a cardiac, and in fevers as a sedative. Many other species have conspicuous and peculiar flowers: they are green in V. parvifolium of North Carolina, greenish-purple in V. Woodii (the Indiana pokeweed), green and white in V. Californicum, dark-brown with the outside hoary in V. intermedium of Florida; in V. fimbriatum, of the Mendocino plains, they are fringed and spotted.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Veratrum vē-rā′trum hellebore
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. veratrum, hellebore
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L.

Usage

In literature:

Veratrum viride does the same thing.
"Medical Essays" by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
In the later stages, Cuprum and Veratrum.
"Enquire Within Upon Everything" by Anonymous
To lessen the frequency of the pulse, fluid extract or tincture of aconite or veratrum may be given in water, every hour.
"The People's Common Sense Medical Adviser in Plain English" by R. V. Pierce
Veratrum (false hellebore) Purple, poison Swamps; New England.
"Harper's Young People, July 13, 1880" by Various
Veratrums divide much in the same way, wanting a careful cut low down, the points of their crowns being also very easy to break off.
"Wood and Garden" by Gertrude Jekyll
Aconite, veratrum viride, chloral, etc.
"Arteriosclerosis and Hypertension:" by Louis Marshall Warfield
It is not certain whether they confounded our hellebore with our veratrum.
"Curiosities of Medical Experience" by J. G. (John Gideon) Millingen
Digitalis, veratrum viride, and aconite were used by us quite freely as antipyretics.
"A System of Practical Medicine by American Authors, Vol. I" by Various
Anthers, capsules, etc., nearly as in Veratrum.
"The Manual of the Botany of the Northern United States" by Asa Gray
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