• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Helleborus foetidus

stinking hellebore

AGM plants

AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

  • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
  • Available to buy
  • Of good constitution
  • Essentially stable in form & colour
  • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases
stinking hellebore

© Christopher Whitehouse

  • Other common names stinking hellebore
    barfoot

    bearfoot
    bear's foot
    foetid hellebore
    ox heel
    setterwort
    stinkwort

    see more
  • Family Ranunculaceae

  • 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

  • Details H. foetidus is an evergreen perennial to 60cm with erect stems, and leaves palmately divided leaves narrow dark green leaflets. Nodding, usually purple-edged, pale green flowers to 2cm in width are borne in large open clusters from late winter

  • Plant range W & S Europe

Characteristics

  • Foliage Evergreen

  • Habit Bushy

  • Toxicity Ingestion may cause severe discomfort

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)

    H7

Colour

Sunlight

  • Full Sun

  • Partial Shade

  • Aspect North-facing or East-facing or West-facing or South-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered

Soil

  • Chalk

    Chalk

  • Loam

    Loam

  • Clay

    Clay

  • MoistureMoist but well-drained

  • SoilChalk, Loam, Clay

  • pHAlkaline, Neutral

Size

  • Ultimate height 0.5-1 metres

  • Ultimate spread 0.1-0.5 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 2-5 years

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

Suggested planting locations and garden types Flower borders and beds Low Maintenance Underplanting of Roses and Shrubs City & Courtyard Gardens Cottage & Informal Garden 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

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