Green Hellebore - Helleborus viridis

Alternative names
Bear's-foot
Description

Green Hellebore grows to 40cm with clusters of yellow-green flowers of 3 to 5cm in diameter. The flowers appear just before the leaves. The palmate, toothed leaves are dark green and tough.  The fruits (follicles) are fused for c. a quarter of their length and are sessile.

Similar Species

other Hellebores. H orientalis sensu lato is very similar but with larger flowers, in various colours, and with shortly-stalked fruits (follicles) that are free and not fused to the base.

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

Check the fruits (follicles) - sessile and partly fused -  and flower size - 3-5cm.

Recording advice

Unless identified by a recognised expert, a photo is required showing the flowering plants in its habitat, with details of fruits and flower-size. If the photo doesn't show the key ID features then in the comments box describe the size and identifying characters you have observed.

Habitat

Prefers rather shady habitats, usually on chalk or limestone, found in woodland glades, rocky dingles and old hedge banks. As well as our native populations, it often occurs as an escape or introduction from cultivation.

When to see it

Flowering between February and May.

Life History

Perennial herb. Populations are often small, but persist over many years without obvious changes in numbers.

UK Status

Believed to be native in Southern England and Wales, but introduced plants grow as far north as central Scotland.

VC55 Status

Rarely recorded in Leicestershire and Rutland.

In the current checklist (Jeeves, 2011) it is listed as alien (neophyte); woodland; rare

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map

MAP KEY:

Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map