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Herbaceous Perennial

Helleborus argutifolius
  • RHS AGM

holly-leaved hellebore

H. argutifolius is an evergreen perennial to 1m with stout stems bearing leaves composed of three spiny-toothed dark green leaflets. Bowl-shaped, nodding, pale green flowers 4-5cm in width are borne in large open clusters

Synonyms
Helleborus lividus subsp. corsicus
Helleborus corsicus
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Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green Green
Summer Green
Autumn Green
Winter Green Green
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or North–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Ranunculaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Clump forming
Potentially harmful
Ingestion may cause severe discomfort, skin irritant. Wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling
Genus

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

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Corsica, Sardinia

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How to grow

Cultivation

Thrives in neutral to alkaline soils that are moist, fertile and humus-rich. Partial shade is ideal but can tolerate full sun. Provide shelter from strong, cold winds. Mulch annually in autumn

Propagation

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

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Cut flowers
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Underplanting of roses and shrubs
Pruning

Remove faded or damaged foliage as the flowers appear

Pests

Prone to hellebore aphid and snails

Diseases

May be affected by hellebore leaf spot and a virus

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