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Helleborus lividus

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© RHS 2003

Characteristics

Plant type

Herbaceous Perennial

Habit

Bushy

Toxicity

Ingestion may cause severe discomfort; skin irritant

Resilience

Hardiness

old H2-3 (intermediate between H2 and H3)

Colour

Flower

Pink and Pale Green in Winter

Foliage

Blue and Green in Autumn, Spring, Summer and Winter

Size

Ultimate height

0.1-0.5 metres

Ultimate spread

0.1-0.5 metres

Time to ultimate height

2-5 years


Preferred common name

blue-grey hellebore

Family

Ranunculaceae


Helleborus can be rhizomatous, herbaceous or semi-evergreen perennials forming a clump of pedate basal leaves, or evergreen with erect, leafy stems. Large, bowl-shaped flowers are borne in loose clusters in late winter or spring

H. lividus is an evergreen perennial to 45cm with biennial stems bearing leaves composed of three bluish-green marbled leaflets. Nodding, pale pinkish-green flowers 3-5cm in width are borne in open clusters from mid winter

Other common names

  • purple hellebore

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Part shade

Aspect

  • South-facing or East-facing
  • Sheltered

Cultivation

Grow in neutral to alkaline soil in dappled shade. In frost-prone areas, best grown in a cold greenhouse

Soil

  • Moist but well-drained
  • Alkaline or Neutral
  • Chalk, Loam or Clay

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown in pots in a cold frame as soon as seed is ripe

Suggested planting locations and garden types

City/Courtyard Gardens, Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower borders and beds, Low Maintenance, Underplanting of Roses and Shrubs or Wildflower meadow


How to care

Pruning

Remove faded or damaged foliage as the flowers appear

Pests

Hellebore aphid and snails may be a problem

Diseases

May be subject to hellebore leaf spot and hellebore black death