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Helleborus viridis

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Helleborus viridis, commonly called green hellebore,<ref name=BSBI07>Template:Cite web</ref><ref>Template:PLANTS</ref> is a perennial flowering plant in the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae, native to Central and Western Europe, including England. All parts of the plant are poisonous.<ref name = "North67"/>

The green hellebore was one of the many plants first described by Linnaeus in volume one of his 1753 tenth edition of his Species Plantarum.<ref>Template:Cite book</ref> The species name is the Latin adjective viridis, "green". Two subspecies are recognised, subspecies viridis from Central Europe and the maritime Alps, and subspecies occidentalis from western Europe including England.<ref name=FE/>

Other common names recorded include bastard hellebore, bear's foot and boar's foot.<ref>Template:Cite book</ref>

Growing to around 60 cm (2 ft) high, the green hellebore is a perennial plant. The flowers appear in spring (February to April).<ref name = "North67"/> They have five large green oval sepals with pointed tips, and seven to twelve much smaller petals. The roots are rhizomatous.<ref name=CF>Template:Cite book</ref> Subspecies viridis has flowers of 4–5 cm diameter and leaves covered with fine hairs, while the flowers of subspecies occidentalis are smaller (3–4 cm diameter) and its leaves are smooth.<ref name="Servettaz">Template:Cite journal</ref>

The green hellebore is found in Western and Central Europe, east to eastern Austria and south to northern Italy.<ref name=FE>Template:Cite web</ref> It grows on limestone and chalk-based soils in the south of England.<ref name = "North67"/>

The green hellebore has become weedy in North America, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, and northern Germany.<ref name=CF/>

Consumption of any part of the plant can lead to severe vomiting and seizures.<ref name = "North67"/> Its purgative properties meant that it was traditionally used as a folk remedy to treat worms in children and topically to treat lice.<ref name = "North67">Template:Cite book</ref>



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