Stinking Hellebore

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Stinking Hellebore might have an unappealing name, but don’t let that deter you - this evergreen perennial, blooms late winter to mid-spring, offering stunning foliage and flowers when your garden needs it most. This hellebore has dark green leathery leaves, deeply cut to form narrow fingers with a lush, tropical appeal. Clusters of nodding, bell-shaped chartreuse flowers are edged in contrasting burgundy, energizing the garden for months. A lovely complement to spring-flowering bulbs and an excellent choice for filling in a sparse spring garden. Also known by interesting names such as Bearfoot, Ox Heel, and Stinkwort, this plant is a true gem for the early season shade garden. (Helleborus foetidus)
Zones 6 - 9
Multiplies / Naturalizes
Winter Interest
Easy To Grow
Deer Resistant
Light Requirements
Half Sun / Half Shade
Full Shade
Mature Height 12-24" tall , 12-18" wide
Bloom TimeLate winter to early spring
Item Package SizePlant - 3" Pot

USDA Hardiness Planting Zones

To determine if a plant is sufficiently cold hardy, the USDA created numbered zones indicating winter low temperatures; the lower the zone number the colder the winter.

  • If the coldest winter temperature expected in your area is -15°F (zone 5) then any plants rated zones 3-5 will survive the winter temperatures in your area.
  • If you live in very warm winter areas (zones 9-11) plants with zones 3-4 ratings are not recommended. The lack of freezing winter temperatures do not provide a time for winter dormancy (rest).

Find Your Planting Zone:

Plant Information

12-24" tall x 12-18” wide. The lime-green flowers of Stinking Hellebore are a bonus, accenting the fabulous fine-textured foliage. This plant provides a lovely complement to broad-leaved shade plants like Hosta, Coral Bells (Heuchera), and Lungwort (Pulmonaria). Plants also look stunning massed beneath large shrubs or trees. Chartreuse blooms, are among the first blooms to emerge in late winter, energizing the winter-and-early spring garden. Flowers will produce viable seed and sprout seedlings around the base of the plant, which can easily be transplanted to other locations in the garden or weeded out. Allow a few seedlings to remain near the parent plant as Stinking Hellebore is not as long-lived as other hellebores. Seedlings will replace the parent plant in several years. Flower stalks can be cut back in early summer after releasing seed to maintain a tidy appearance. Remove old, faded foliage in late winter to early spring. Grow in partial to full shade in any well-drained soil. 

More Information
Item Package Size
Plant - 3" Pot
Common Name
Stinking Hellebore
Botanical Name
Helleborus foetidus
6, 7, 8, 9
Light Requirements
Half Sun / Half Shade, Full Shade
Flower Color
Mature Height
12-24" tall
Mature Spread
12-18" wide
Growth Rate
Bloom Time
Late winter to early spring
Planting Depth
Crown of plant should rest just at or above the soil surface after watering in.
Ships As
Potted Plant
7-10 deeply lobed, dark green, lance-shaped leaves.
Soil Type
Loamy Soil, Well-Drained Soil, Moist/Wet Soil
Soil Moisture
Average, Moist / Wet, Well Draining
Multiplies / Naturalizes, Winter Interest, Evergreen, Easy To Grow, Deer Resistant
Additional Information
Evergreen where hardy. Flowers and bruised foliage are unpleasantly aromatic. Protect from cold winter winds.
Plant of Merit
Ideal Region
Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, West, Southwest, Pacific Northwest
Planting Time
Spring / Summer
Poisonous or Toxic to Animals
All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested. Toxic to dogs, cats and horses.
Item Unit
Ships to Hawaii, Alaska & Canada

No longer available this season.

As soon as your order is placed you will receive a confirmation email. You will receive a second email the day your order ships telling you how it has been sent. Some perennials are shipped as potted plants, some as perennial roots packed in peat.  The ‘Plant Information’ section describes how that item will ship. All perennials and spring-planted bulbs are packaged to withstand shipping and are fully-guaranteed. Please open upon receipt and follow the instructions included.

Perennials and spring-planted bulbs are shipped at the proper planting time for your hardiness zone. Perennial and spring-planted bulb orders will arrive separately from seeds. If your order requires more than one shipment and all items are shipping to the same address, there is no additional shipping charge. See our shipping information page for approximate ship dates and more detailed information. If you have any questions, please call Customer Service toll-free at (877) 309-7333 or contact us by email.

Shipping Rates

Our shipping rates are calculated based on our actual average shipping costs. We do not seek to profit from shipping fees, so rest assured that our shipping rates reflect an average of what it costs to get our guaranteed products safely to your door.

US Shipping Charges

Merchandise Total Shipping
Up to $4.99$8.89
$5 to $399.99$8.89 + 6% Merchandise Total
$400 and Over8% Merchandise Total

Canadian Shipping Charges

Merchandise Shipping
Up to $24.99$14.95
$25 to $49.99$19.95
$50 to $74.99$24.95
$75 to $99.99$29.95
$100 and Over$39.95

If your order requires more than one shipment and all items are shipping to the same address, there is no additional shipping charge. If you have any questions, please call us at (877) 309-7333.

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