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Helleborus orientalis

Helleborus orientalis, also known as the Lenten rose, is a perennial flowering plant and a species of hellebore in the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae, native to Greece and Turkey. Jean-Baptiste Lamarck described the species in 1789, giving it its current name of Helleborus orientalis ("Hellébore du Levant"). The species name is derived from the Latin oriens ('east'). The common name derives from the plant's flowering during Lent. Within the genus Helleborus, it has been classified in the section Helleborastrum, and is closely related to the other eight species in the section. These species are all highly variable and hybridise with each other freely.

This picture shows an H. orientalis flower from the Netherlands, showing swollen seedpods.

Photograph credit: Dominicus Johannes Bergsma

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