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Veratrum parviflorum1SHSU.jpg
Melanthium parviflorum
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Liliales
Family: Melanthiaceae
Tribe: Melanthieae
Genus: Melanthium

Melanthium is a genus of herbaceous perennial plants native to North America. They are closely related to Veratrum, and in fact are included in that genus by some authors. The distinction between Melanthium and Veratrum is based on various morphological traits, but it is not yet clear where the line is best drawn.[1]

They contain alkaloids similar to those found in Veratrum and are thus assumed to be poisonous.[1]


The World Checklist considers Melanthium as a synonym of Veratrum, and accepts no species as members of Melanthium. Tropicos does likewise, adding that proposals have been made to reject the name Melanthium entirely.[2] The Plant List and Flora of North America, however, do accept the following names in Melanthium:


  1. ^ a b "Melanthium Linnaeus". Flora of North America. 
  2. ^ Zomlefer, W. B., W. S. Judd & K.N. Gandhi. 2010. (1928) Proposal to conserve the name Veratrum against Melanthium (Melanthiaceae). Taxon 59(2): 644-645.