noun \ˈhe-lə-ˌbr\

Definition of HELLEBORE

:  any of a genus (Helleborus) of poisonous Eurasian herbs of the buttercup family having showy flowers with petaloid sepals; also :  the dried rhizome of a hellebore (as H. niger) formerly used in medicine
:  a poisonous herb (genus Veratrum) of the lily family; also :  the dried rhizome of a hellebore (V. album or V. viride) that is used as an insecticide and contains toxic alkaloids that are cardiac and respiratory depressants


Middle English elebre, from Anglo-French, from Latin elleborus, helleborus, from Greek helleboros
First Known Use: 15th century


noun \ˈhel-ə-ˌbō(ə)r, -ˌb(ə)r\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of HELLEBORE

a : any herb of the genus Helleborus b : the dried roots and rhizome of any medicinal herb of the genus Helleborus (as black hellebore H. niger or green hellebore H. viridis) or a powder or extract of this used by the ancient Greeks and Romans in treating mental and other disorders
a : any of several poisonous herbs of the genus Veratrum b : the dried rhizome and roots of either of two hellebores of the genus Veratrum (the false hellebore V. viride of America and V. album of Europe) or a powder or extract of this containing alkaloids (as protoveratrine) used as a cardiac and respiratory depressant and also as an insecticide—called also veratrum, white hellebore


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Green hellebore (Helleborus viridis)—G.E. Hyde—The Natural History Photographic Agency/EB Inc.

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.


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