Monday, April 11, 2011

Hellebores Are Not Boring

One of the first flowers of spring are the Hellebore. Strange name for a rather amusing looking flower. They are not the kind of flower that you pass by. The detail is quite amazing; I think they look rather prehistoric. Hellebore come in various colors; white, yellow, green, pink, and purple.

I like the colors, shapes, and center of the flower......great subject matter for a sketch or painting.

Here is a closer view:

I learned that Hellebores have a long history in cultivation, particularly in Europe. For centuries they have been used for various medical purposes, and all contain alkaloids and other chemicals that could lead to poisoning if ingested in large quantities. Hellebores are even mentioned in ancient Greek and Roman literature, but it is not certain if the references are to the same plants of today. They have also been cultivated in western Europe and can be found naturalized around ruins of old monasteries and other structures. Extracts from Hellebores have been used in homeopathy and traditional medicines in several countries.

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