The leaves are each 8 by 16inches and form a rosette from which arises a 4ft spike with many tiny "black" flowers. The photo also shows my size 10 shoe. Thanks John Postlethwaite
This is false hellebore, Veratrum. I don't know which species it is but it should be easier to tell once the flowers open if you do image searches. Some species are native to the Eastern and some to the Western USA. It is toxic if eaten with symptoms that vary depending on how much was ingested.