Helleborus foetidus L.

Bearsfoot Hellebore, Stinking Hellebore




Family: Ranunculaceae

Genus: Helleborus

Category: Perennial

Zones: 5 to 8

Size: To 30" tall in bloom and 36" wide

Exposure: Part Shade, Shade


Evergreen perennial. Deeply cut, dark green leaves with narrow lobes, except for the central leaves. Flowers on tall stems above the leaves, lime green and pendant, in clusters, in winter. Deer and rabbit resistant. Very short-lived but self-seeds. (Oudolf)


'Red Silver' - from the garden of Ernie and Marietta O'Byrne (Tony Avent) - probably a cross between H. 'Sopron' and H. 'Wester Flisk'. Pewter colored leaves with red petioles and red rims around the flowers.


Published in Sp. Pl. 1: 558 in 1753.

Native to Morocco, the UK, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France, Spain and Portugal.

My Experience: 

I saw this at the Unique Plant and then at the JC Raulston Arboretum. I purchased a 4" pot at Piccadilly Farms in March 2013 and planted it in the Front Foundation Hedge. It dwindled to nothing.

Sources of Information

© 2010-12 Lisa J. Miner