Christmas rose (Helleborus niger) is a very toxic evergreen perennial flowering plant, found in the northern United States and Canada. It is found in damp, shady places and blooms from late fall through early spring--often in the snow. It is a durable, cold-hardy shrub which is closely related to the later-blooming Lenten rose (H. orientalis).
All parts of H. niger contain the digitalis-like glycosides helleborin, hellebrin; and the direct irritants saponins and prontoanemonin. Extra care should be taken during the holidays, as the plant is often used as a holiday decoration.
- Blistering mucous membranes in the mouth
- Irregular heart beat
- increased respiratory rate
- slow irregular pulse
- dilated pupils