Helleborus Species, Corsican Hellebore, Corsican Rose, Holly-Leaved Hellebore

Helleborus lividus subsp. corsicus

Family: Ranunculaceae (ra-nun-kew-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Helleborus (hel-eh-BORE-us) (Info)
Species: lividus subsp. corsicus
Synonym:Helleborus argutifolius
Synonym:Helleborus lividus var. serratifolius
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade




Foliage Color:



24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Pale Green

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Birmingham, Alabama

Baywood-los Osos, California

Clayton, California

El Cerrito, California

Fairfield, California

Grover Beach, California

La Mesa, California

Morgan Hill, California

Pittsburg, California

Salinas, California

San Luis Obispo, California

Canton, Georgia

Boise, Idaho

Pikesville, Maryland

Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts

New York City, New York

Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Wynnewood, Pennsylvania

Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Emory, Texas

Leesburg, Virginia

Bellevue, Washington

East Port Orchard, Washington

Ione, Washington

Kalama, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 22, 2011, ncelady from Bartlesville, OK wrote:

I love this tough plant; wish there were other plants that were hardy enough to pop up as soon as Jan or Feb.!


On May 18, 2011, TLux from Canton, GA wrote:

Word to the wise: This plant can hurt you. Beware the sap and juice, wear gloves, and do not wipe your face or eyes with your hands while you work.


On May 30, 2009, lawgal from Pikesville, MD wrote:

The only reason I rated this negative is to warn people of it's danger. I had this for more than several years before I had a severe allergic skin reaction all over my face, hands, arms, chest and throat---basically anything I had touched. It lasted for WEEKS and burned horribly with ugly bad rash!

That said, it is a hardy, surprisingly drought-tolerant plant and has grown well over a foot tall for me as well here in Baltimore suburbs of Maryland .

I now wear gloves anywhere around it and immediately wash up!!!


On May 12, 2009, littlebrownwren from Grover Beach, CA wrote:

I lovelovelove this plant. I bought my first one as a struggling seedling in a quart pot five years ago and it's now more than three feet across and almost as tall (in bloom).

Interestingly enough, my plants tolerate dryness quite well; I've also seen it listed in many resources as appropriate for droughty plantings. This hellebore is from the Mediterranean and is noted for tolerating much more heat and dryness than most others. In fact, it will rot quite quickly if kept too wet, drainage is quite important, and it doesn't much appreciate clay soil. This is why my original seedling wasn't happy in its pot, as well as why Corsican hellebores in general don't do well potted. If you *must* pot them, try using extra vermiculite or perlite.

Most British references... read more


On Sep 12, 2008, plantcrazy99 from Mayerthorpe,
Canada wrote:

I grew this plant from seed,it was the first hellebore I had ever grown from seed, it easily germinated (with patience and proper culture I got over 90% on year old seeds) and these became amazing hardy little seedlings, grown in zone 3, no protection their first winter other than from the micro climate in the garden forest they were growing in and six feet of snow from September till late May. It blew me away with its amazing hardiness and growth, 100% survival rate with 70% flowering in their second year from seed! Their second winter had only 1 ft of snow, very unusual in these parts, but out of 9 plants. I only lost one. Helleborus argutifolius grown from seed grows much better in my garden than an established nursery grown H. argutifolius, other species and H x hybrid plants that h... read more


On Aug 17, 2005, Jnette from Northeast, WA (Zone 5a) wrote:

This plant is so hardy it blooms as soon as it works it's way out of the snow in the spring and maintains the blossoms until the snow covers them in the winter. Very tough and leathery leaves. A great asset to any perennial garden.


On Feb 19, 2005, Terry447 from El Cerrito, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

This easy-to-care-for plant has thrived in sun or shade, taken transplanting in stride and thumbed its nose at our voracious neighborhood deer. (Nary a nibble.) The pale green blooms light up shady spots through the winter and spring, and the sawtoothed foliage looks great year-round.


On Jun 24, 2003, petern wrote:

WARNING. Do NOT allow any sap from Argutifolius to come into contact with the skin as it can produce a severe allergic reaction. This happened to my wife whilst dead-heading the plants.


On Jun 22, 2003, ceedub from Whitby, ON (Zone 5b) wrote:

I live on the north shore of Lake Ontario (zone 6a). I bought my Corsican Hellebore late last summer and planted it on the north side of my house. It bloomed in January, then the foilage slowly died in the sub-zero weather over the winter. I found rotted foliage after the snow melted early this spring and wrote it off. BUT!!! It came back in early May, and is now (June 22nd) beautiful and lush. A very hardy plant with flowers at an amazing time of year-just when they're needed.


On Apr 15, 2003, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant looks like a delicate seedling, but is tough as nails. I planted out some seedlings early last summer, and thought for sure I'd kill them (their stems seem so delicate, but are just good and wiry.)

The plants have grown tremendously since being planted out, and are close to a foot tall already.