Soil: any moist, neutral to alkaline soil, including heavy soil
Rate of growth: average
Flowering period: January to April
Hardiness: fully hardy
Nodding, bell-shaped, pale green flowers with purple edges appear above clumps of deeply divided dark green leaves from January to April. Our native 'stinking hellebore' is aptly named as the leaves give off an unpleasant odour when crushed. This is an unusual, architectural plant for a shady border or woodland garden, or beneath deciduous shrubs, where its evergreen foliage can be shown off in autumn and winter.
Garden care: Add lots of well-rotted leaf mould, compost or manure to the planting hole. Apply a generous 5-7cm (2-3in) mulch of well-rotted organic matter around the base of the plant and provide a top-dressing of general fertiliser each spring.