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The Plant Guide

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Fragrant hellebore

Helleborus odorus

heh-LEB-or-us OH-dor-us

Lime-green to near-yellow flowers 1 to 2 inches across, with five petal-like sepals, are borne in loose clusters of three or four on leafy stems up to 20 inches tall. Blooms emerge in late winter or early spring, fading to pale green and lasting until seeds are ripe. There is great variation in fragrance, flower color and size, as well as leaf form, across different plants.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsSeedlings bloom in two to three years. Grows from thickened, slow-creeping rhizomes. Fragrance varies from deliciously sweet to slightly skunky, sometimes with no noticeable fragrance.

CareEasy to grow in humus-rich, evenly moist, neutral soil. Cut away old foliage in early spring to make way for the flowers.

PropagationSow fresh seeds as soon as they ripen and cover lightly.

ProblemsSlugs, snails, aphids, leaf spot, and black rot.

  • Genus : Helleborus
  • Plant Height : 1 to 3 feet
  • Plant Width : 1 to 3 feet
  • Zones : 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
  • Characteristics : Fragrant Flowers
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Flower Color : Green, Yellow
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Plant Type : Perennials
  • Bloom Time : Spring, Winter
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
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