Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Stinking Hellebore Plant Profile

Stinking Hellebore Plant Profile

Stinking Hellebore (Helleborus foetidus) is a perennial plant that is native to the mountains of Europe and south-west Asia.

Despite the common name, the flowers don’t smell bad at all. In fact, to notice the “stink” you will have to actually crush the foliage and take a whiff of that. So don’t let that scary name keep you from growing it.

This tough plant has beautiful, finely cut leaves and bright-green flowers. They bloom in late winter and early spring.

It is very low-maintenance. In mid-spring, you can prune off any spent flowers as well as any old, tattered foliage. The plants spread fairly quickly and form large clumps that can be divided every few years. Plant the divisions immediately and water them in well to give them a good start.

Stinking Hellebore thrives in part-shade and rich, well-draining soils. It is hardy to USDA zones 6 through 9. They are fairly drought-tolerant once established. Like its Hellebore cousins, it is poisonous if ingested and therefore deer-resistant.

Stinking Hellebore: You Can Grow That!

The video was produced by Washington Gardener Magazine as part of our Plant Profile series for Mid-Atlantic USA gardeners.

Video and editing by Jessica Harden

Audio and text by Kathy Jentz

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~ Podcast: GardenDC


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