Slight resemblance to : other Hellebores such as Stinking Hellebore, but stinking Hellebore has three seed pods rather than the four of Corsican Hellebore.
Uniquely identifiable characteristics
Distinguishing Feature : Apart from the flower being distinctive of Hellebores, the leaves identify it as Corsican Hellebore.
No relation to : the
Helleborines [which are members of the Orchid Family [Orchidaceae] and have a similar-sounding name].
In the UK, Corsican Hellebore is officially classed as a neophyte, a plant that was introduced to Britain after AD 1500. In the UK, it is more likely to be found in a garden than growing wild, although it does indeed grow wild. Greater London seems to be particular hot-spot, but other locations are in evidence. It seems to have disappeared from the Isle of Man before 2000 AD.
All Hellebores are poisonous, but some much more poisonous than others. Black Hellebore is the most toxic, but Corsican Hellebore is much less so, but nevertheless should not be consumed; it is toxic if large quantities are consumed. Care must be taken in handling it for the sap is caustic, creating wounds that weep.
PROTOANEMONIN & PRE-CURSOR
Like most members of the Buttercup Family to which it belongs, Corsican Hellebore contains Ranunculin which is the glucosidic pre-cursor to protoanemonin. Upon hydrolysis when outside the cell, Ranunculin is converted to Protoanemonin which is poisonous. Corsicam Hellebore is toxic if eaten in large quantities.