hellebore

hellebore
/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.
2. any of various plants of the genus Veratrum. Cf. false hellebore.
3. any of several poisonous or medicinal substances obtained from these plants.
[1555-65; < Gk helléboros; r. earlier ellebor(e), ME el(l)bre, etc. < L elleborus < Gk]

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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. Hyde
The Natural History Photographic Agency/EB Inc.

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plant
 member 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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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hellebore — Hellébore Nom vernaculaire ou nom normalisé ambigu : Le terme « Hellébore » s applique, en français, à plusieurs taxons distincts. Hellébore …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Hellebore — Hel le*bore, n. [L. helleborus, elleborus, Gr. ?, ?; cf. F. hell[ e]bore, ell[ e]bore.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Bot.) A genus of perennial herbs ({Helleborus}) of the Crowfoot family, mostly having powerfully cathartic and even poisonous qualities.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • hellebore — [hel′ə bôr΄] n. [altered (after Gr) < ME ellebore < OFr < L helleborus < Gr helleboros, orig. prob. “plant eaten by fawns” < hellos, var. of ellos, fawn < base of elaphos, deer + bora, food (of beasts): for IE base see ELK &… …   English World dictionary

  • hellebore — late 14c., from O.Fr. ellebore, from L. elleborus, from Gk. helleboros, perhaps meaning plant eaten by fawns, from Gk. ellos/hellos fawn + bora food of beasts, from bibroskein to eat, from PIE root *gwere to swallow. Among the ancients, the name… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Hellebore — Taxobox name = Hellebore image width = 240px image caption = Helleborus niger , the so called Christmas rose , in the wild regnum = Plantae divisio = Magnoliophyta classis = Magnoliopsida ordo = Ranunculales familia = Ranunculaceae genus =… …   Wikipedia

  • Hellébore — Nom vernaculaire ou nom normalisé ambigu : Le terme « Hellébore » s applique en français à plusieurs taxons distincts. Hellébore …   Wikipédia en Français

  • hellébore — ellébore [ elebɔr; ɛllebɔr ] n. m. VAR. hellébore • mil. XIIIe; lat. d o. gr. helleborus ♦ Plante herbacée (renonculacées), vivace, dont la racine a des propriétés purgatives et vermifuges, qui passait autrefois pour guérir la folie. Ellébore… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • hellebore — A plant of the genus Helleborus, especially H. niger (black h.). SEE ALSO: Veratrum album, Veratrum viride. [G. helleboros] false h. SYN: adonis. * * * hel·le·bore hel ə .bō(ə)r, .bȯ(ə)r n 1 a) any herb of the genus Helleborus b) the dried roots …   Medical dictionary

  • hellebore — noun Etymology: Middle English elebre, from Anglo French, from Latin elleborus, helleborus, from Greek helleboros Date: 15th century 1. any of a genus (Helleborus) of poisonous Eurasian herbs of the buttercup family having showy flowers with… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • hellebore — /ˈhɛləbɔ/ (say heluhbaw) noun 1. any plant of the genus Helleborus, especially H. niger (black hellebore), a European herb with showy flowers; Christmas rose; winter rose. 2. any of the coarse herbs constituting the genus Veratrum, as V. album… …   Australian-English dictionary

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