Green Hellebore, Bear's Foot


Height: 18" (45cm)
Flowering Time: Spring
Flower Colour: Green



Angiospermae (Angiosperms)
Subclass: Dicotyledonae (Dicotyledons)
Superorder: Magnoliidae (Magnolia Superorder)
Order: Ranunculares (Buttercup Order)
Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)
Genus: Helleborus (Hellebore)
Species: viridis (green)
Helleborus viridis

Helleborus viridis is not often found, but sometimes forms large colonies in woods on chalky soils. It is herbaceous, and in spring forms open clumps of large, coarse, toothed palmate leaves about 18" high. The flowers are like large green buttercups, fading as they age.

Helleborus orientalis has been used in traditional medicine as a laxative and emetic.

There is a similar plant, Helleborus foetidus (Stinking Hellebore, Setterwort), which is about the same size, but with slightly smaller flowers edged with purple which do not open fully, and have an unpleasant smell. It is also more upright.



Harvesting and Growing from Seed:


Seed self sown
in summer
germinated the
following spring.

Seed Pod The seedpod is like three short fat pea pods joined together, opening down one side.

Seed The seeds are rounded black ovals, with a light brown ridge on one side. There are several
seeds in a pod.

Seedling The seedling has tough leaves divided into three toothed leaflets.

(You can check the meaning of any technical terms new to you in the Botany section of the site)
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