Common names: Lenten Rose, Christmas Rose
Botanical name: Hellebore
Characteristics: Perennial Hellebores, in the Ranunculaceae – Buttercup family, are the stars of the late winter/early spring garden. In the south, they remain evergreen and prefer shade. Eastern European in origin, they are loved for their floral variety of spots and subtle coloring. A rugged and easy-to-grow plant, hellebore is lovely grouped under trees and shrubs or in a woodland garden.
Size: 18 to 24 inches tall and 24 to 30 inches wide
Flowers: Nodding flower clusters appear on thick stems above the foliage: flower color may be white, pink or light rose-purple, frequently with interior spotting.
Bloom time: Winter through early spring
Leaves: Palmate, serrate, thick, 8-16″ wide, glossy, basal, dark green leaves (7-9 leaflets).
Pests and Disease Problems: No serious insect or disease problems. Leaf spot and crown rot are occasional problems.
Growing in North Texas
Best grown in organically rich, well-drained soil in part shade to full shade. Propagate by division of the clumps (best in spring) and from seedlings which grow up around the plants. Very hardy and drought tolerant once established.
The Gardener’s Guide to Growing Hellebores, by Graham Rice and Elizabeth Strangman
USDA Plant Profile for Helleborus orientalis
Missouri Botanical Garden: Helleborus orientalis
Keywords (tags): Shade, perennial, winter flowering, evergreen