Helleborus consists of approximately 20 species of herbaceous or evergreen perennial flowering plants in the family Ranunculaceae. Most of the species are endemic to Europe or Asia, with the majority in the Balkans.
Hellebores are hardy perennials, down to zone 5a, which remain evergreen in more temperate zones. The biggest benefit to them is their late winter, early spring bloom period and because the blossoms are principally formed from sepals, they can easily last 6 to 8 weeks. The species plants tend to be fairly dull in coloration, usually white, to greenish to a muddy purple. Recent hybridization, mainly from H. orientalis, has made the colors and patterns on the blossoms a lot more interesting. Some also now have variegated foliage.
They like partial shade and a rich fertile, well draining soil. Adequate moisture ensures the foliage stays looking fresh throughout the summer, but they can go dormant in hot regions. If the leaves do get scraggly in winter, they can be clipped off before the new growth emerges in spring.
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Name Derivation: name derives from Greek words helein (to injure) and bora (food). All plants in this genus are toxic, and that means they tend to be left alone by most animals.
Common Name: Hellebore
Helleborus is in the family Ranunculaceae.