Posted: 07/02/2014 at 20:44
I always remove the old leaves about now, whether there are any new ones or not.
I would also check for aphids on your plants. Unusual, but this year is so mild that many of them have survived and started feeding early. They are the vectors for the Black Death.
I would not be in too big a hurry to destroy the plants, try giving them a good dose of fungicide first.
If it is the Black Death then the plants will die, eventually. But it is a fairly rare occurrence.
We have over 1,000 hellebore hybrids and not seen any signs of it in any of ours (Bows to Hubris).