Plant Common Name
Foetid Hellebore, Stinking Hellebore
The foetid hellebore is an attractive winter blooming perennial that produces many beautiful bright green flowers. The delightful blooms of this unfortunately named plant are not particularly stinky, although other parts of the plant have a nasty smell when crushed. Native to western and central Europe, this hardy plant adds a bright touch to the garden when not much else is green.
The evergreen foliage of foetid hellebore is attractive in its own right. The leaves are deeply divided with long lance-shaped fingers. They are usually dark green with coarse teeth along the edges. The long-lasting cup- or bell-shaped, greenish purple flowers bloom from midwinter to spring and become greener as the season progresses. The flowers are often visited by bees and ants which aid in pollination and seed distribution.
Grow this hellebore in a spot with full to dappled sun and rich, fertile, alkaline soil. Plant it in groups under trees or in beds where you can enjoy its winter blooms. Choose the site carefully since mature hellebores tend to transplant poorly. Propagate by seed or division in spring or fall. Hellebores make delightful, long-lasting cut flowers.
There are potential health concerns regarding this hellebore. For more information visit http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/poison/Hellefo.htm
AHS Heat Zone
9 - 6
USDA Hardiness Zone
6 - 9
2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Partial Sun, Partial Shade
24"-32" / 61.0cm - 81.3cm
18"-24" / 45.7cm - 61.0cm
Early Spring, Spring, Winter, Late Winter
Clay, Loam, Sand
Cutflower, Mixed Border
Sharp or Has Thorns