Need Hellebore Information - Knowledgebase Question

Hardy, AR
Avatar for cen91002
Question by cen91002
October 26, 1999
Does hellebore really bloom during the winter? I have heard this plant is very poisonous. Is it okay to have it around animals or children? Is it easy to take care of, fast growing, and hardy? What type of soil, light, and moisture does it need?

Answer from NGA
October 26, 1999
Most hellebore bloom during mild spells in late winter and very early spring. If they're growing in a protected niche that warms during the winter they will open even earlier. They are as much a curiosity as they are attractive. The plants are poisonous and should not be eaten. They are very easy to grow when they have the right conditions. They require shade to partial shade, and a soil that is woodsy and humusy and holds moisture but drains well. Hellebore may take a year or two to become established, but after that they should be very long lived. They may also self sow and spread to create new little colonies.

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