Dear Sir or Madam,
I recently took some hellebore flower heads in May and removed the seeds by hand. Before I had finished, I noticed an increasing pain under the finger nails and on the skin of terminal phalanges. I ceased the operation and washed. There was no abatement of the pain, which continued for the rest of the day. In subsequent three days, the affected skin became numb and thickened and finally peeled away leaving no further problem.
I undertook this process after listening to Gardener’s World which advocated admittedly leaving the flowerheads in a paper envelope until the seeds fall out, but there was no mention of toxicity.
I have since the event looked hellebores up on the net.
Wikipedia says: “… plant is highly toxic, containing veratrine and the teratogens cyclopamine and jervine,..”
Are these alkaline or acidic? Should there not be a warning about this? I can’t be the only gardener wanting to propogate hellebores.
Thanks. Paul Baly firstname.lastname@example.org
- 6 Jul, 2010