Here come the Hellebores

Curling out of the soil the Hellebore flowers are making a welcomed appearance.

These plants provide plenty of flower in this early part of the year in the garden. The seedlings are always interesting as you never know what colours might pop up.

They thrive in the gravel at the front of our house and we have a range of colours from white, green, pink and dark purple.

The Stinking Hellebore (Helleborous foetidus) is a native wild flower in Britain and blooms from Feb-April. It is also known as dungwort or bears foot and all parts of the plant are poisonous.

Stinking seems an unfair name as the flowers do not have an unpleasant smell. When the leaves are crushed they do have a beefy odour.

The flowers of stinking hellebore are more cup shaped than the flatter open flowers of the ones in my front garden.

The roots of the stinking hellebore contain alkaloids called nervine and verstridine that were used in ointments to treat neuralgia and rheumatoid pain.

Interesting Fact

Yeasts colonise the nectaries of the flowers, this raised the temperature of the flower which might then attract more pollinators. This is because it evaporates more organic compounds. This was the first species that this was discovered in.

Really lovely flowers , we are going back to Anglesey Abbey in a couple of weeks because there will be large areas of Hellebores to enjoy.


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