American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of various plants of the genus Helleborus, native to Eurasia, most species of which are poisonous.
- n. Any of various plants of the genus Veratrum, especially V. viride of North America, having large leaves and greenish flowers and yielding a toxic alkaloid used medicinally.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A plant of the genus Helleborus, of the natural order Ranunculaceæ, particularly H. niger, the black hellebore or Christmas rose, a native of southwestern Europe. It is a drastic hydragogic cathartic, possessing emmenagogic powers, in overdoses producing inflammation of the gastric and intestinal mucous membrane, with violent vomiting, vertigo, cramp, and convulsions, which sometimes end in death. H. viridis, the green hellebore, a native of Europe, is naturalized in the United States. The fetid or stinking hellebore is H. fœtidus, a name also given to the skunk-cabbage, Symplocarpus fœtidus.
- n. A name of similar plants of other genera. Eranthis hiemalis, a plant closely allied to Helleborus, is called
winter hellebore. Veratrum viride, a liliaceous plant, is known as American, false, or white hellebore, swamphellebore, and Indian poke.
- n. The powdered root of American hellebore, used to destroy lice and caterpillars.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Bot.) A genus of perennial herbs (Helleborus) of the Crowfoot family, mostly having powerfully cathartic and even poisonous qualities. Helleborus niger is the European black hellebore, or Christmas rose, blossoming in winter or earliest spring. Helleborus officinalis was the officinal hellebore of the ancients.
- n. (Bot.) Any plant of several species of the poisonous liliaceous genus Veratrum, especially Veratrum album and Veratrum viride, both called
- n. perennial herbs of the lily family having thick toxic rhizomes
- n. any plant of the Eurasian genus Helleborus
- Middle English ellebre, from Old French, from Latin elleborus, from Greek helleboros : perhaps hellos, fawn + -boros, eaten (from bibrōskein, to eat). (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The hellebore was a fantastic gift, hope it does well for you.”
“The inside of a hellebore is the most mysterious of flowers, freckles or no?”
“The bloom time of the hellebore is a main attraction.”
“My hellebore is a seedling from the big momma plant.”
“Once a hellebore is a few years old, it just blooms more each year.”
“They bought five cents 'worth of white hellebore, which is a powder, and sprinkled it on the ground in a circle about the stems of the young plants.”
“Pluto said he might, if he could overcome Cerberus without weapons; and this he did, struggling with the dog, with no protection but the lion's skin, and dragging him up to the light, where the foam that fell from the jaws of one of the three mouths produced the plant called aconite, or hellebore, which is dark and poisonous.”
“Cassian says, that the use of a lie, in order to be allowable, must be like the use of hellebore, which is itself poison, unless a man has a fatal disease on him.”
“The daughters of Prcetus, who supposed themselves to be cows, were cured by Melampus by means of hellebore, which is of a purging nature.”
“There were the vegetable poisons known on Earth, such as hellebore, setterwort, deadly nightshade, and the yew tree.”
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