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The Plant Guide

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Stinking hellebore

Helleborus foetidus

hel-LEB-or-us FET-ih-dus Audio

The early, long-lasting, sometimes fragrant blooms of this hellebore are borne in clusters in late winter to early spring. The pendent flowers are a muted yellow-green, often with purple margins, and have large pale green bracts. Helleborus foetidus has dramatic, deeply-cut foliage that holds up through the winter. Leaves smell unpleasant when crushed.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsProvides good contrast to almost any companion planting.

CareGrow in rich, well-drained soil in part shade.

PropagationBest raised from seed; not suitable for division.

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

  • Genus : Helleborus
  • Plant Height : 1 to 3 feet
  • Plant Width : 1 to 3 feet
  • Zones : 6, 7, 8, 9
  • Moisture : Dry to Medium
  • Characteristics : Fragrant Flowers, Showy Foliage
  • Flower Color : Green, Yellow
  • Light : Partial Shade
  • Plant Type : Perennials
  • Bloom Time : Spring, Winter
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
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