Definition of hellebore
1 : 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 (such as H. niger) formerly used in medicine
2 : 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
Recent Examples of hellebore from the Web
In addition to burgundy flowers (tree form vanilla strawberry hydrangea, whose flowers age to burgundy, and Lenten roses — Hellebores — among the earliest blooms of the season, for example), many plants have burgundy foliage.
Deer also tend to leave alone ferns and grasses, as well as daffodils, hellebores, and aconitums, which are poisonous to mammals.
Front and center, a vintage punch bowl corrals an overflowing arrangement of ranunculus, hellebores, bittersweet and amaryllis.
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Origin and Etymology of hellebore
Middle English elebre, from Anglo-French, from Latin elleborus, helleborus, from Greek helleboros
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
Medical Definition of hellebore
1a: any herb of the genus Helleborusb: 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
2a: any of several poisonous herbs of the genus Veratrumb: 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
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