This section is from the book "The Botanical Magazine; Or, Flower-Garden Displayed", by William Curtis. Also available from Amazon: The Botanical Magazine; or, Flower-Garden Displayed, Volume I.
Helleborus lividus. Livid or purple Hellebore.
Cal. nullus. Petala-5. sive plura. Nectaria bilabiata, tubulata. Caps. polyspermae, erectiusculae.
HELLEBORUS lividus caule multifloro folioso, foliis ternatis. Ait. Hort. Kew. ined. 2. p. 272.
It is not a little extraordinary that this plant which has for many years been cultivated in this country, should have escaped the notice of Linnaeus; it is equally wonderful that we should at this moment be strangers to its place of growth.
Having three leaves growing together, it has been considered by many as the trifoliatus of Linnaeus but his trifoliatus is a very different plant, a native of Canada, producing small yellow flowers.
It has been usual to treat this species as a green-house plant, or at least to shelter it under a frame in the winter; probably it is more hardy than we imagine.
It is propagated by parting its roots in autumn, and by seeds, though few of the latter in general ripen, nor do the roots make much increase - to these causes we must doubtless attribute its present comparative scarcity.
It flowers as early as February; on which account, as well as that of its singularity, it is a very desirable plant in collections.