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Helleborus

Phonetic Spelling
hel-eh-BORE-us
This plant has high severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Hellebores are a genus of bushy, clumping, flowering perennials in the Ranunculaceae family native to Europe, Morocco, and temperate Asia. The genus contains 22 species and many hybrids that are commonly grown in gardens for their evergreen foliage and winter or early spring-blooming flowers. Hellebores, sometimes commonly called hybrid Lenten roses or hybrid winter roses, typically grow to 12-15” tall. They are noted for producing single, cup-shaped flowers (typically 2 to 3 inches in diameter) in a large variety of colors, including various shades and tints of white, pink, red, purple, and yellow. Blossoms usually appear on the tips of the plant's branched stems in late winter extending into early spring. The leaves are evergreen and dark green, glossy, leathery, deeply-lobed, and often toothed. The genus name comes from the Greek words bora meaning "food" and helein meaning "injures/destroys" in reference to the plant’s toxic leaves, stems and roots which are poisonous to humans if ingested.

Hellebores do well in organically rich, well-drained, alkaline soils in light to moderate shade. The foliage is evergreen, but it may become scorched and tattered in extremely harsh winters. You should site the plant where it is protected from cold winter winds. Cut back flowering stems after bloom to promote new foliage growth. Established plants can become congested, but can be divided in late summer to early fall. Hybrid hellebores are often grown from seed, but plants will take two years to bloom when grown from seed. Deer and rabbits tend to avoid this plant. These plants can be grown in mass plantings in shady locations or where the clumps will slowly spread through self-seeding.

Diseases, Insect Pests, and Other Plant Problems:

No serious insect or disease problems. Crown rot and leaf spot are occasional problems. Leaves, stems and roots are poisonous.

See this plant in the following landscapes:
Juniper Level Botanic Gardens: Part Sun-Part Shade Gardens
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Anna's Red', 'Frostkiss Pippa's Purple', H. croaticus, H. foetidus, H. lividus subsp. corsicus, H. niger, H. orientalis, H. x glandorfensis 'Ice N' Roses', H. x hybridus, 'Penny's Pink'
Tags:
#evergreen#perennials#low maintenance#spring flowers#winter interest#herbaceous perennials#hybrids#flowers early spring#winter flowers#poisonous if ingested
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Anna's Red', 'Frostkiss Pippa's Purple', H. croaticus, H. foetidus, H. lividus subsp. corsicus, H. niger, H. orientalis, H. x glandorfensis 'Ice N' Roses', H. x hybridus, 'Penny's Pink'
Tags:
#evergreen#perennials#low maintenance#spring flowers#winter interest#herbaceous perennials#hybrids#flowers early spring#winter flowers#poisonous if ingested
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Helleborus
    Family:
    Ranunculaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe, Morocco, and temperate Asia
    Distribution:
    Introduced to the Ireland, Norway, east and west coast of the United States.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Edibility:
    Toxic if ingested.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Multi-stemmed
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Green
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Solitary
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Winter
    Flower Shape:
    Cup
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Colored Sepals
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Single, cup-shaped, terminal flowers (2 to 3 inches in diameter) with five showy, usually overlapping petals (or sepals), Some species come in a double flowered form. Flowers bloom in a large variety of colors, including various shades and tints of white, pink, red, purple, and yellow, and sometimes have inside spotting. Bloom from late winter to early spring and the sepals tend to remain on the plant and not fall off.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leathery
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Dentate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Evergreen dark green leaves divided into deeply-lobed, often toothed, lanceolate to elliptic segments.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Flowers appear on the tips of branched stems clad with evergreen dark green leaves.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Rabbits
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    High
    Poison Symptoms:
    Can cause illness and death if ingested. Both living and dried plants of all species of Helleborus are extremely poisonous. Plants contain a cardiac glycoside (helleborin), which acts directly on the heart muscle, causing convulsions, delirium, and sometimes death.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    glycoside and saponin
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Leaves
    Sap/Juice