Hellebore, the common name for several perennial herbs. Hellebores of the buttercup family, such as the Christmas rose and Lenten rose, are native to Europe and western Asia. They grow about two feet (60 cm) tall and bear purplish, greenish, yellow, or white flowers.
Some members of the lily family are also called hellebores. An example is the American hellebore, which grows to a height of eight feet (2.4m) and bears clusters of greenish-white flowers. The foliage of this plant is poisonous to humans and livestock. A drug, called veratrum, used to lower blood pressure, is obtained from this plant.
The Christmas rose is Helleborus niger; Lenten rose, H. orientalis. Both belong to the family Ranunculaceae. The American hellebore, Veratrum viride, belongs to the family Liliaceae.