Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Christmas Rose

Christmas Rose (Helleborus niger), a herbaceous perennial ranunculaceous plant, a native of Central Europe, commonly grown in English gardens. It has a dark-coloured rhizome which is powerfully cathartic, but also violently narcotic and acrid. Its leaves are radical, pedately divided, dark-coloured and glossy. The flowers are produced in winter singly or two together on short peduncles with broad bracts, five large petaloid white or red sepals, minute green tubular nectaries representing the petals, indefinite stamens, and a ring of from three to five follicles. In texture it is less rose-like than is the Japanese anemone.