Helleborus odorus

Helleborus odorus, Waldstein & Kitaibel (1809)

This Helleborus species is native to the northern parts of Macedonia, Croatia, Serbia, western Romania, Slovenia and southern Hungary, where it grows on the edges of oak and beech forests and sometimes also on grasslands and meadows in chalky soils together with Cyclamen, Iris, Pulsatilla and Anemone.

The deep green leaves are divided into up to eleven segments. Each leaflet is serrated in its upper part. In some specimens, the young leaves have silvery hairs, whereas the older leaves are hairy on the undersides. Other specimens, in turn, have hardly any or no hairs on their leaves. Sometimes the leaves die back in winter or are heavily damaged by cold spells and winds over the winter. Any such damaged leaves should be removed before flowering.

The yellow green to green blooms appear in the wild between February and April. In cultivation, they usually flower as early as January. Each flower stem usually carries two to three flowers, but in rare cases, there might be up to six flowers per stem.

In the garden, Helleborus odorus prefers a partially shaded to sunny position with adequate moisture levels in the ground.