hellebore

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hellebore

(hĕl`əbôr), name usually for plants of the genus Helleborus of the family Ranunculaceae (buttercupbuttercup
or crowfoot,
common name for the Ranunculaceae, a family of chiefly annual or perennial herbs of cool regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Thought to be one of the most primitive families of dicotyledenous plants, the Ranunculaceae typically have a simple
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 family), Eurasian perennials with attractive palmately divided leaves and flowers of various colors. Hellebores are noted for their early blooming, particularly the black hellebore or Christmas rose (H. niger), with evergreen leaves and white or greenish blossoms that resemble wild roses. Hellebores and other species have been used medicinally but are highly toxic. Species of the genus Veratrum—which are also poisonous and medicinal and which yield an insecticide—are variously known as false, or American, hellebore and white hellebore; they are unrelated plants of the family Liliaceae (lilylily,
common name for the Liliaceae, a plant family numbering several thousand species of as many as 300 genera, widely distributed over the earth and particularly abundant in warm temperate and tropical regions.
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 family). Hellebore is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Ranunculales, family Ranunculaceae.

hellebore

symbol of slander. [Flower Symbolism: Flora Symbolica, 174]
See: Slander

hellebore

1. any plant of the Eurasian ranunculaceous genus Helleborus, esp H. niger (black hellebore), typically having showy flowers and poisonous parts
2. any of various liliaceous plants of the N temperate genus Veratrum, esp V. album, that have greenish flowers and yield alkaloids used in the treatment of heart disease