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Hellebore, Black (Helleborus niger) potted plant, organic


Family:  Crowfoot (Ranunculaceae)

Hardy to Zones 3 to 7

(Christmas Rose) Evergreen perennial native to Europe, flowering white to 1 foot tall.  The paradox is that this white-flowered plant is named “black,” which appears to be a reference instead to the black roots.  An ornamental plant, and useful because of its tendency to make showy flowers in the winter and early spring (therefore the adage “Christmas Rose,” although black hellebore is neither in the rose family nor of the color or aroma of a rose).  Over time, this plant has been extensively selected in order to produce double flowers of different colors.  However, what we have here is the original wild form of the plant which flowers white.  All parts of the plant are potentially toxic, containing cardiac glycosides, and care should be taken to never ingest.  Use suitable precautions (gloves) when handling and transplanting, as skin contact can cause dermatitis.  Herbal use not advised, but historically a low-dose botanical, also homeopathic, employing the dried roots (TWM): purgative and sedative used for treating insanity, epilepsy, etc.  Historically, used by village people as a strewing herb to drive away malevolent influences, also in witchcraft for spells and potions.  Plant prefers sun to part shade and moist, humus-rich soils of an alkaline pH.  The plant does best when transplanted to its final location while still young.  The spot may be sweetened with ground limestone or dolomite before planting.  Black Hellebore tends to be a survivor, and will claim its spot and stay there.  It is a standard garden plant and a good subject for the apothecary garden, requiring little upkeep and creating showy leaves and flowers.  Space plants 2 feet apart.

Potted plant, certified organically grown


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  1. Question


    Would hellebore thrive in a shaded garden (under a huge oak tree) in zone 9a?

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    • One person found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      I don’t think its too likely, the plant is listed up to zone 7 only, and does best in alkaline soils. r

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