Definition of hellebore in US English:



  • 1A poisonous winter-flowering Eurasian plant of the buttercup family, typically having coarse divided leaves and large white, green, or purplish flowers.

    Genus Helleborus, family Ranunculaceae

    • ‘The hellebores are still green, and there are buds forming under the slightly tattered foliage.’
    • ‘Tony has a good article on hellebores - he's always worth reading!’
    • ‘While few perennials are doing anything significant when the hellebores bloom in late winter and early spring, flower combinations can be easily made with some early bulbs.’
    • ‘Recently, however, I've gotten well and truly hooked on hellebores.’
    • ‘It has been my experience that hellebores do not make good long term pot plants; it's best to get them in the ground as quickly as you can once they are of a size to handle the rough and tumble world of the garden.’
    • ‘The same author comments that quail were not eaten much in classical times, apparently because they were thought to be unwholesome because of eating poisonous plants such as hellebore.’
    • ‘This seems to me like it would be a difficult color range to achieve, considering the amount of blue in most hellebore flowers.’
    • ‘Be very cautious about growing poisonous plants, like castor bean or hellebore, in readily accessible areas.’
    • ‘Members were transported to Switzerland, Greece, the Falklands, and France to see gardens and plants in all their glory and were given an insight into some of the hellebores that can be grown in the UK.’
    • ‘All hellebores flower in winter or early spring from buds formed during the previous summer.’
    • ‘Spring bulbs were much in evidence, as were hellebores.’
    • ‘Ensure that you prepare a good planting site by incorporating compost into the soil before you plant, as hellebores enjoy a moist soil rather than one that dries out quickly.’
    • ‘The cottage style garden in the Adelaide Hills features a collection of hellebores in a range of colours as well as bulbs and winter flowering shrubs like Magnolia.’
    • ‘Chocolate cosmos, black hollyhocks, and shadowy hellebores are planted toward the front of borders or in front of contrasting colors so that the dark colors don't recede in the garden like a black hole.’
    • ‘As well as carpets of snowdrops in the five-acre garden, there are hellebores and other winter flowering plants to admire.’
    • ‘Look for winter-flowering hellebores in garden centres.’
    • ‘Enjoy early hellebore flowers by floating flowerheads in a shallow bowl of water.’
    • ‘It's no surprise that in a recent worldwide poll commissioned by the Hardy Plant Society, hellebores were voted second favourite flower family.’
    • ‘I followed his advice - and now, ten years later that hellebore is a fine, strong plant that is blooming as I type this.’
    • ‘A natural glen is planted with an assortment of shade-loving plants, including hellebores, ferns, fuchsias, azaleas and primroses.’
    1. 1.1
      another term for false hellebore


Old English (denoting various plants supposed to cure madness), from Old French ellebre, elebore or medieval Latin eleborus, via Latin from Greek helleboros.