Veratrum album is a tall herbaceous perennial plant with alternate, pleated leaves. The flowers are white, marked with green on the top portion of the stalk. The fruit is a small pod containing winged seeds. The stout, simple stems are 50–175 cm (20–69 in) tall. The plants have an estimated lifespan of several centuries and often achieve dominance in wild areas as they are unpalatable to grazing herbivores.