Like Eastern Skunk Cabbage, False Hellebore can easily be overlooked as little more than a wetland weed. But for those hikers that are inclined to give them a second glance, these elegant perennials are actually rather striking. During Spring, they emerge from moist, sandy soils as stalks adorned with neatly-pleated greenery. In the process of growing as much as 6.5 feet tall, False Hellebore produces sprays of green or yellow flowers that eventually give way to tiny fruits.
At every stage of its life, however, the False Hellebore is an extremely toxic plant that should never be consumed. Historically, it is notorious for killing livestock that would inadvertently munch on its leaves.
The patch of False Hellebore seen here was discovered beside the Skungamaug River, which flows beside Creaser Park in Coventry, Connecticut before snaking its way through Andover and emptying into the Hop River.
Trails of Freedom will be guiding short hikes through Creaser Park on May 7, 2011 and June 5, 2011… just two of our four “Take a Hike” sessions hosted in cooperation with Team Turtle Racing and Coventry Parks & Recreation. All that are interested are encouraged to register for these free sessions on the Coventry Parks & Recreation website. We hope to see you out there!