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Stinking Hellebore, Bearsfoot Hellebore
Scientific Name: Helleborus foetidus L.
Synonym:
Family: Ranunculaceae
Stinking Hellebore, Bearsfoot Hellebore (Helleborus  foetidus)
Helleborus foetidus, Illustrations of the British Flora, Fitch & Smith
Recommended Temperature Zone:
sunset: All zones
USDA: 6-9

Sun Exposure: Part shade to full shade

Origin: Southern and central Europe

Growth Habits: Evergreen herbaceous perennial, 10 to 18 inches tall and wide (25-45 cm), rhizome; stiff basal palmate leaves, 8 inches long (20 cm), 11 inches wide (27 cm), divided in 7 to 10 toothed segments, the segments are narrower and less toothed than Helleborus viridis, leaf and stem colors are variable from light green to grayish

Watering Needs: Well drained moist soil, prefers some lime in the soil, not drought resistant

Propagation: Seeds, self sowsdivision in the fall, the plants resent being disturbed


This plant is poisonous but has medicinal properties. Sensitive persons can get temporary skin irritation from contacts with the leaves or sap.
The epithet 'foetidus' comes from the Latin for 'fetid, stinky', referring to the scent produced by the leaves when bruised.
Cut back the foliage after the plant has finished blooming to promote new growth.

Blooming Habits:
Hanging racemes of 2 to 4, drooping, goblet-shaped, pleasantly scented, large light green flowers, often with purplish tinge, 1 inch in diameter (2.5 cm), in late winter and early spring (February to April). The seeds ripen in late spring (May-June).

Fruiting Habits:


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Desert-Tropicals is dedicated to provide gardening advice, gardening ideas, and information about flower of all kind for landscape and collections. We try to check carefully the identification of the plants on the illustrations as well as the other information from the page, but occasionally errors do occur. if you notice anything that needs to be changed please contact us. Thanks.

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