• WordNet 3.6
    • n hellebore any plant of the Eurasian genus Helleborus
    • n hellebore perennial herbs of the lily family having thick toxic rhizomes
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Hellebore (Bot) A genus of perennial herbs (Helleborus) of the Crowfoot family, mostly having powerfully cathartic and even poisonous qualities. Helleborus niger is the European black hellebore, or Christmas rose, blossoming in winter or earliest spring. Helleborus officinalis was the officinal hellebore of the ancients.
    • Hellebore (Bot) Any plant of several species of the poisonous liliaceous genus Veratrum, especially Veratrum album and Veratrum viride, both called white hellebore.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n hellebore A plant of the genus Helleborus, of the natural order Ranunculaceæ, particularly H. niger, the black hellebore or Christmas rose, a native of southwestern Europe. It is a drastic hydragogic cathartic, possessing emmenagogic powers, in overdoses producing inflammation of the gastric and intestinal mucous membrane, with violent vomiting, vertigo, cramp, and convulsions, which sometimes end in death. H. viridis, the green hellebore, a native of Europe, is naturalized in the United States. The fetid or stinking hellebore is H. fœtidus, a name also given to the skunk-cabbage, Symplocarpus fœtidus.
    • n hellebore A name of similar plants of other genera. Eranthis hiemalis, a plant closely allied to Helleborus, is called winter hellebore. Veratrum viride, a liliaceous plant, is known as American, false, or white hellebore, swamphellebore, and Indian poke.
    • n hellebore The powdered root of American hellebore, used to destroy lice and caterpillars.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Hellebore hel′e-bōr a plant of the genus Helleborus (Ranunculaceæ), whose root possesses drastic purgative properties, anciently used as a cure for insanity—varieties are the Black Hellebore or Christmas Rose, the Stinking and the Green Hellebore; similar plants of other genera are the Winter Hellebore and the American False or White Hellebore, known also as Indian Poke or Itch Weed.
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  • Edward Dahlberg
    “I would rather take hellebore than spend a conversation with a good, little man.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. helleborus, elleborus, Gr. , ; cf. F. hellébore, ellébore,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. hellébore—L. helleborus—Gr. helleboros.


In literature:

Next you hear the rain drum on the broad-leaved hellebore, and beat down the mimulus beside the brook.
"The Land of Little Rain" by Mary Austin
She needs six grains of hellebore, Monsieur; her brain is turned.
"Amphitryon" by Moliere
But she does not go unprovided; she has hellebore at the bottom of the cup.
"Essays, Second Series" by Ralph Waldo Emerson
All the Hellebores may be easily increased by root divisions, but the stock should be strong and healthy.
"Hardy Perennials and Old Fashioned Flowers" by John Wood
The first application of the principle was against chewing insects with hellebore.
"Apple Growing" by M. C. Burritt
In one case he prescribed rust, probably the earliest use of iron as a drug, and he also used hellebore root as a purgative.
"Outlines of Greek and Roman Medicine" by James Sands Elliott
Powdered hellebore is said to have been used with effect as a means of destroying the pest.
"The $100 Prize Essay on the Cultivation of the Potato; and How to Cook the Potato" by D. H. Compton and Pierre Blot
He was said to have employed the herb hellebore in the cure, which thence obtained the name of 'melampodium.
"The Metamorphoses of Ovid" by Publius Ovidius Naso
Grandfather, shall I carry on your great Herbarium, where the hellebore is missing?
"L'Aiglon" by Edmond Rostand
Him, too, Simplex recognized by the hellebore he was munching.
"Pretty Michal" by Mór Jókai

In poetry:

When the evening came my love said to me:
Let us go into the garden now that the sky is cool;
The garden of black hellebore and rosemary,
Where wild woodruff spills in a milky pool.
"Prothalamion" by Francis Brett Young

In news:

The Corsican hellebore (Helleborus argutifolius) features brilliant chartreuse flowers.
I sort of spearheaded the trip down to Oregon with the main objective that we pay Ernie and Marietta O'Byrne of Northwest Garden Nursery in Eugene a visit to see (and yes, buy) some of their fabulous Winter Jewels® Hellebores .
Right now, our hellebores are all budded up and ready to go.
This is the way they look well into summer… hellebores provide a long lasting show.
How about a black hellebore .
Hellebores are so easy and so pretty, they have a place in nearly every landscape.
Deer-resistant and mostly evergreen, hellebores ' divided leaves rise on sturdy stems and may be serrated (like a knife) along the edges.
Exquisite Hellebores for the Winter Garden.
Exquisite Hellebores for the Winter Garden.
In an earlier column, we looked at "Christmas roses," early-blooming hellebores that thrive in shady gardens.
George and Linda Smith and their daughter Mary Frances of our community have a beautiful woodland garden, and one of the horticultural stars is the large bed of helleborous.