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hellebore

hellebore (hĕl´əbôr), name usually for plants of the genus Helleborus of the family Ranunculaceae (buttercup family), Eurasian perennials with attractive palmately divided leaves and flowers of various colors. Hellebores are noted for their early blooming, particularly the black hellebore or Christmas rose (H. niger), with evergreen leaves and white or greenish blossoms that resemble wild roses. Hellebores and other species have been used medicinally but are highly toxic. Species of the genus Veratrum—which are also poisonous and medicinal and which yield an insecticide—are variously known as false, or American, hellebore and white hellebore; they are unrelated plants of the family Liliaceae (lily family). Hellebore is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Ranunculales, family Ranunculaceae.

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hellebore

hel·le·bore / ˈheləˌbôr/ • n. a poisonous winter-flowering Eurasian plant (genus Helleborus) of the buttercup family, typically having coarse divided leaves and large white, green, or purplish flowers. ∎ another term for false hellebore.

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hellebore

hellebore Any of c.20 species of poisonous herbaceous plants of the genus Helleborus, native to Eurasia. Best known is the Christmas rose, H. niger, which bears white flowers from mid-winter to early spring. Family Ranunculaceae.

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hellebore

hellebore XIV (preceded by eleboryne XIII). ME. el(l)ebre, eleure — OF. ellebre, elebore or medL. eleborus, L. elleborus — Gr. (h)elléboros.

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hellebore

hellebore •hellebore • usquebaugh • Tombaugh

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