Sunday, 15 February 2015

Stinking Hellebore - Cromford

Driving through Cromford yesterday I saw a flowering Hellebore by the roadside at the traffic lights on the A6. I thought it was the Stinking Hellebore but went back today to check and get some photos, there were at least three flowering plants.
The Derbyshire Flora describes the Stinking Hellebore as a rare native of woods and screes and I've included the distribution map below.

The plant is poisonous although it was used as a remedy for worms in the 18th Century. Gilbert White remarked on the use of the Stinking Hellebore as a cure for worms;

'Where it killed not the patient, it would certainly kill the worms; but the worst of it is, it will sometime kill both.'

Stinking Hellebore (Helleborus foetidus)

Stinking Hellebore provisional distribution from the Derbyshire Flora

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