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grass-leaf death-camas, meadow death-camas

Habit Plants 2–7 dm, from bulbs; bulbs not clumped, tunicate, ovoid, 10–30 × 8–20 mm.

proximal blades 12–50 cm × 2–10 mm.


racemose or paniculate with 1 or 2 basal branches, 10–50-flowered, terminal raceme pyramidal in anthesis, 2–20 × 2–5 cm, branches (if any) 1/10–1/3 length of entire inflorescence, diverging from main axis at 10°–60° when in fruit.


perianth hypogynous, campanulate, 5–10 mm diam.;

tepals persistent in fruit, cream colored, 2–5 × 1–3 mm, outer often clawed, apex usually acute;

gland 1, obovate, distal margins evident to obscure, irregular;

filaments straight, usually equaling tepals, occasionally longer, thickened proximally;

pedicel usually ascending in fruit, occasionally perpendicular to stem, 3–25 mm, bracts usually green, sometimes white, 5–25 mm.


8–20 × 4–7 mm.


= 22.

Zigadenus venenosus

from USDA
w North America
[WildflowerSearch map]

Varieties 2 (2 in the flora).

Zigadenus venenosus is a smaller, more slender plant than either Z. paniculatus or Z. fontanus. It can be distinguished from Z. micranthus by its ascending pedicels. It has a much broader distribution than either Z. micranthus or Z. fontanus, and does not occur on serpentine substrates.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

1. Outer tepals usually clawed ca. 5 mm; inflorescences mostly racemose, occasionally paniculate with 1 basal branch.
var. venenosus
1. Outer tepals not clawed, or clawed less than 5 mm; inflorescences mostly paniculate with 1–2 basal branches, occasionally racemose.
var. gramineus
Source FNA vol. 26, p. 84.
Parent taxa Liliaceae > Zigadenus
Sibling taxa
Z. brevibracteatus, Z. densus, Z. elegans, Z. exaltatus, Z. fontanus, Z. fremontii, Z. glaberrimus, Z. micranthus, Z. mogollonensis, Z. nuttallii, Z. paniculatus, Z. vaginatus, Z. virescens
Subordinate taxa
Z. venenosus var. gramineus, Z. venenosus var. venenosus
Synonyms Toxicoscordion venenosum
Name authority S. Watson: Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts 14: 279. (1879)
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