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Uses

Toxic parts

All parts of the plant are poisonous[1][2][3], this poison can possibly be absorbed through the skin[4]. The fresh root can be a violent irritant to sensitive skin[5].

Edible uses

There are no edible uses listed for Helleborus niger.

Material uses

Used as a parasiticide against body lice, fleas etc[4]. This use is somewhat dangerous, see the notes above on toxicity.

The powdered root has been used as a snuff[6].

Plants are suitable for ground cover when spaced about 45cm apart each way[7].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Black hellebore is a very poisonous plant that is toxic when taken in all but the smallest doses. As such it should not be taken except under professional supervision. The plant contains cardiac glycosides which have a similar action to the foxglove (Digitalis spp) and it has been used as a heart stimulant for the elderly, though this treatment is no longer recommended[8].

The root is anthelmintic, cardiac, cathartic, diuretic, emetic, emmenagogue, irritant, violently narcotic and a drastic purgative[9][1][10][11][12]. It is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use[9]. It has been used in the treatment of dropsy, amenorrhoea, nervous disorders and hysteria, but it is very poisonous and great care must be taken over the dosage[9]. The root is also applied externally as a local irritant[9], but even this should be done with care, see notes above on toxicity.

A homeopathic remedy is made from the roots[1]. It is used in the treatment of headaches, psychic disorders, enteritis and spasms[1].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Soil surface

Ecological Functions

Ground cover

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[13][14]. Sow stored seed as early in the year as possible[13], it usually germinates in the autumn to spring. Seed can take 18 months to germinate. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. This species produces flowering plants in 2 - 3 years from seed[15]. Division after flowering or in autumn. Take care since the plant resents disturbance[16][15].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Helleborus niger. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Cultivation of this plant is not always easy, it prefers a rich limy soil in partial shade[17]. Succeeds in any good garden soil[13], growing and flowering best in a moist well-drained rich loam in a sheltered position in partial shade[13][9][18][16][5]. Succeeds when grown in the shade of a north-facing wall[19]. Does not object to lime[13]. Grows well in heavy clay soils[15]. Dislikes drought.

Slugs are very fond of this plant and it will probably require some protection from them[17]. The various species in this genus hybridize freely[20]. Plants can flower in three years from seed[9]. A very ornamental plant, there are many named varieties[17]. Plants resent root disturbance and are slow to re-establish when divided[5]. They are best left undisturbed for 6 - 7 years before being divided[5]. Seedling plants should be placed in their permanent positions whilst still small[15].

A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes[21].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Helleborus niger. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Helleborus niger.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Helleborus niger
Genus
Helleborus
Family
Ranunculaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
3
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
Shade
partial shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    "image:2006-12-18Helleborus niger09.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:2006-12-18Helleborus niger09.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


    "image:2006-12-18Helleborus niger09.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:2006-12-18Helleborus niger09.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:2006-12-18Helleborus niger09.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:2006-12-18Helleborus niger09.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:2006-12-18Helleborus niger09.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:2006-12-18Helleborus niger09.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:2006-12-18Helleborus niger09.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:2006-12-18Helleborus niger09.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:2006-12-18Helleborus niger09.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

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    References

    1. ? 1.01.11.21.31.4 Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (1981-00-00)
    2. ? Altmann. H. Poisonous Plants and Animals. Chatto and Windus ISBN 0-7011-2526-8 (1980-00-00)
    3. ? Frohne. D. and Pf?nder. J. A Colour Atlas of Poisonous Plants. Wolfe ISBN 0723408394 (1984-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.14.2 Cooper. M. and Johnson. A. Poisonous Plants in Britain and their Effects on Animals and Man. HMSO ISBN 0112425291 (1984-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.15.25.3 Phillips. R. & Foy. N. Herbs Pan Books Ltd. London. ISBN 0-330-30725-8 (1990-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.1 Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World. Robert Hale. London. ISBN 0-7090-5440-8 (1994-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.1 Thomas. G. S. Plants for Ground Cover J. M. Dent & Sons ISBN 0-460-12609-1 (1990-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.1 Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (1996-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.19.29.39.49.59.6 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.1 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.1 Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. (1986-00-00)
    13. ? 13.013.113.213.313.4 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    14. ? Rice. G. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 2. Thompson and Morgan. (1988-00-00)
    15. ? 15.015.115.215.315.4 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    16. ? 16.016.1 Sanders. T. W. Popular Hardy Perennials. Collingridge (1926-00-00)
    17. ? 17.017.117.2 Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Perennials Volumes 1 and 2. Pan Books ISBN 0-330-30936-9 (1991-00-00)
    18. ? Brown. Shade Plants for Garden and Woodland. ()
    19. ? Thomas. G. S. Perennial Garden Plants J. M. Dent & Sons, London. ISBN 0 460 86048 8 (1990-00-00)
    20. ? Saunders. C. F. Edible and Useful Wild Plants of the United States and Canada. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-23310-3 (1976-00-00)
    21. ? Hatfield. A. W. How to Enjoy your Weeds. Frederick Muller Ltd ISBN 0-584-10141-4 (1977-00-00)
    22. ? ? Flora Europaea Cambridge University Press (1964-00-00)

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    Facts about "Helleborus niger"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteYes +
    Article requires citationsNo +
    Article requires cleanupYes +
    Belongs to familyRanunculaceae +
    Belongs to genusHelleborus +
    Functions asGround cover +
    Has binomial nameHelleborus niger +
    Has common nameBlack Hellebore +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has fertility typeBees + and Flies +
    Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
    Has hardiness zone3 +
    Has image2006-12-18Helleborus niger09.jpg +
    Has lifecycle typePerennial +
    Has material partUnknown part +
    Has material useParasiticide +
    Has mature height0.3 +
    Has mature width0.3 +
    Has medicinal partUnknown part +
    Has medicinal useAnthelmintic +, Cardiac +, Cathartic +, Diuretic +, Emetic +, Emmenagogue +, Homeopathy +, Irritant +, Narcotic + and Purgative +
    Has primary image2006-12-18Helleborus niger09.jpg +
    Has search namehelleborus niger + and black hellebore +
    Has shade tolerancePartial shade +
    Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral + and Alkaline +
    Has soil texture preferenceSandy +, Loamy +, Clay + and Heavy clay +
    Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
    Has taxonomy nameHelleborus niger +
    Has water requirementsmoderate +
    Inhabits ecosystem nicheSoil surface +
    Is deciduous or evergreenEvergreen +
    Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
    PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF edible use notes migratedYes +
    PFAF material use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF medicinal use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF toxicity notes migratedNo +
    Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
    Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
    Has subobjectThis property is a special property in this wiki.Helleborus niger +, Helleborus niger +, Helleborus niger +, Helleborus niger +, Helleborus niger +, Helleborus niger +, Helleborus niger +, Helleborus niger +, Helleborus niger +, Helleborus niger + and Helleborus niger +