Member of either of two genera of poisonous herbaceous plants, Helleborus (buttercup family) and Veratrum (family Melanthiaceae). Some are grown as garden ornamentals. Helleborus consists of about 20 species of perennial plants native to Eurasia; most are nearly stemless, with thick roots and long-stalked, divided leaves and showy flowers. Veratrum contains about 25–30 species, better called false hellebores, native widely to damp areas of the Northern Hemisphere. They have simple leaves and clusters of small flowers.
Green hellebore (Helleborus viridis)—G.E. HydeThe Natural History Photographic Agency/EB Inc.
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