Stinking hellebore

Helleborus foetidus

Stinking hellebore - Helleborus foetidus

Common Name: Stinking hellebore
Genus: Helleborus
Species: foetidus

Category: Perennials
Growth Rate: Average
Features: Has interesting foliage, Provides winter colour, A good architectural plant, Long flowering period
Awards: RHS Perfect for Pollinators

Hardiness: HardyHeight: 0.80 m (80 cm)
Sun/Shade: Partial shadeSpread: 0.45 m (45 cm)

Foliage Type: EvergreenFlower Colour: Green, Purple
Foliage Colour: GreenFlowering Period: January to April

Soil Type: Normal/Loam or Sandy/Light or Clay/Heavy or Chalky/Alkaline
Soil Moisture: Moist, but well drained or Boggy, poorly drained

Nodding bell-shaped pale green flowers with purple edges appear above clumps of deeply divided dark green leaves from January to April. Our native 'stinking hellebore' is aptly named as the leaves give off an unpleasant odour when crushed. This is an unusual architectural plant for a shady border or woodland garden or beneath deciduous shrubs where its evergreen foliage can be shown off in autumn and winter.

  • Garden care: Add lots of well-rotted leaf mould compost or manure to the planting hole. Apply a generous 5-7cm (2-3in) mulch of well-rotted organic matter around the base of the plant and provide a top-dressing of general fertiliser each spring.


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