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Helleborus viridis - L.

Common Name Green Hellebore
Family Ranunculaceae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards All parts of the plant are poisonous[9, 10, 65], this poison can possibly be absorbed through the skin[76].
Habitats Woods, scrub and sunny banks on moist chalk and limestone soils[9, 17, 187].
Range Central and western Europe, including Britain.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade
Helleborus viridis Green Hellebore


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Helleborus viridis Green Hellebore
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Llez

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Helleborus viridis is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from February to April, and the seeds ripen from May to June. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees, flies.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Ground Cover;

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Anthelmintic;  Antiemetic;  Cardiac;  Cathartic;  Diuretic;  Emetic;  Emmenagogue;  Hypotensive;  
Irritant;  Narcotic;  Parasiticide;  Purgative.

The root is anthelmintic, cardiac, cathartic, diuretic, emetic, emmenagogue, irritant, violently narcotic and a drastic purgative[4, 9, 21, 46]. The dried root is used, it contains the alkaloids nervine, pseudo-nervine and veratridine[213]. It is best to harvest the root in the autumn[213]. The plant is useful for reducing blood pressure in various conditions of hypertension[213].

Other Uses

Parasiticide.

A decoction of the roots is used as a parasiticide against body lice, fleas etc[76, 213]. This use is somewhat dangerous, see the notes above on toxicity. Plants are suitable for ground cover when spaced about 45cm apart each way[208].

Cultivation details

Cultivation of this plant is not always easy, it prefers a rich limy soil in partial shade[187]. One report says that the plant requires an alkaline soil[17]. Succeeds in any good garden soil[1], preferring a moist well-drained rich loam in a sheltered position in partial shade[1, 4, 31, 111]. Succeeds when grown in the shade of a north-facing wall[233]. Does not object to lime[1]. Grows well in heavy clay soils[200]. Dislikes drought. Slugs are very fond of this plant and it will probably require some protection from them[187]. The various species in this genus hybridize freely[95]. Plants resent root disturbance and should be placed in their permanent positions whilst still small[200]. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes[54].

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Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[1, 134]. Sow stored seed as early in the year as possible[1], it usually germinates in the autumn to spring. Seed can take 18 months to germinate. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. This species produces flowering plants in 2 - 3 years from seed[200]. Division after flowering or in autumn. Take care since the plant resents disturbance[111, 200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Helleborus foetidusStinking Hellebore, Setterwort, Bear's Foot, Bearsfoot, Setterwort, Stinkwort, Stinking Hellebore02
Helleborus nigerBlack Hellebore02

 

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Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

17200

Links / References

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Readers comment

Joseph Woodard   Tue Jul 18 2006

The Genus Helleborus: Helleborus viridis

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