/hel"euh bawr', -bohr'/, n.1. any of several plants of the genus Helleborus, of the buttercup family, having basal leaves and clusters of flowers, esp. H. niger, the Christmas rose.3. any of several poisonous or medicinal substances obtained from these plants.
* * *Member of either of two genera of poisonous herbaceous plants, Helleborus (buttercup family) and Veratrum (lily family).Some are grown as garden ornamentals. Helleborus consists of about 20 species of perennial plants native to Eurasia; most are nearly stemless, with thick roots and long-stalked, divided leaves and showy flowers. Veratrum contains about 45 species, better called false hellebores, native widely to damp areas of the Northern Hemisphere. They have simple leaves and clusters of small flowers.Green hellebore (Helleborus viridis)G.E. HydeThe Natural History Photographic Agency/EB Inc.
* * *▪ plantmember of either of two genera of poisonous herbaceous plants, Helleborus and Veratrum, some species of which are grown as garden ornamentals.Helleborus, of the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae), is composed of about 20 species of perennial herbs native to Eurasia, including black hellebore, or Christmas rose (H. niger); Lenten rose (H. orientalis); stinking hellebore, or bear's foot (H. foetidus); and green hellebore (H. viridis). Typically, the plants are nearly stemless, with thick roots and long-stalked, divided leaves. The showy flowers, with five petal-like sepals, are borne above the foliage.The genus Veratrum, of the family Melanthiaceae, is composed of about 25–30 species, which are native widely in damp areas of the Northern Hemisphere. The genus includes European white hellebore (V. album), once used as an arrow poison, and American white hellebore (V. viride), also called itchweed. The plants have simple, parallel-veined leaves and terminal clusters of small flowers.
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