Hellebores are valued by gardeners for their winter and early spring flowering period; the plants are surprisingly frost-resistant and many are evergreen.
In the past, they were used for medicinal purposes. Black hellebore was used by the ancients in paralysis, gout and other diseases, more particularly in insanity. The plant is also associated with witchcraft, probably because many Hellebores are poisonous. Some historians believe that Alexander the Great died because of a hellebore overdose, when he took it as medication.