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Ranunculacea.

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WO

HELLEBORUS NIGER. BLACK HELLEBORE.
Class XIII. POLYANDRIA. Order VI. POLYGYNIA.
Gen. Char. Calyx, wanting. Petals, five, or more. Nectaries, bil-

abiate, tubular. Capsules, many-seeded, nearly erect. Spe. Char. Scape, one or two-flowered, nearly naked. Leaves,

pedate.

The root is perennial, transverse, rough, knotted, externally black, internally whitish, and sends off many strong, round, long, depending fibres; the flower stalks are erect, round, tapering, and towards the bottom of a redish color; the leaves are of a deep green color, compound, and of a peculiar shape, generally divided into five leaflets, and spring directly from the root by long footstalks; the leaflets are eliptical, smooth. coriaceous, and the upper half serrated; the floral leaves, which are oval and concave, supply the place of the calyx; the petals are five, large, round, concave, and spreading, at first of a redish tint, but by age they turn green ; the nectaries are about eight in number, tubulated, somewhat compressed, bilabiated, and of a greenish yellow color; the filaments are numerous, and white; the anthers are yellow: the germens vary in number, usually from four to eight: the capsules or pods. contain many oval, shining, blackish, seeds.

This plant is a native of Austria and Italy, but is found growing wild in Germany and many parts of Switzerland. It was unknown to the gardners in England, until cultivated by Mr. John Gerard in 1596, where, if the weather be sufficiently mild, it flowers in

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