Celebrated in songs and stories, Helleborus niger, commonly called Christmas Rose, is a winter-blooming evergreen perennial with large, bowl-shaped, glistening white flowers, 3 in. across (8 cm), adorned with crowns of showy golden-yellow stamens. Unlike most hellebores, the flowers face outward attracting interest. They are borne on short, thick stems and generally do not rise above the foliage of palmate, deeply-lobed, dark green leaves. Native to the mountains of southern and central Europe, Christmas Roses open around Christmas time in warm winter areas, and in early spring in cooler winter regions. Perfect to brighten the shade garden, Helleborus niger is also a very popular cut flower!
- Grows in a bushy, upright clump, up to 8-12 in. tall (20-30 cm) and 12-18 in. across (30-45 cm). This plant may self-seed sparingly in satisfactory growing conditions.
- Performs best in part shade to full shade, in rich, humusy, moist, alkaline, well-drained soils. Lenten Roses are very tolerant and will grow well in most soils as long as the ground is not extremely dry or stagnantly waterlogged. Select a sheltered site to protect them from cold winter winds. Deer resistant!
- Easy to grow, this plant is a welcomed addition to shady borders, containers, under trees or large shrubs, woodland gardens or naturalized areas. Plant in groups for best visual impact. Lovely groundcover when massed
- Virtually disease and pest free but watch for slugs and aphids.
- Remove faded flowers stems (unless you require seed) to promote new growth and for a neat appearance.
- Propagate by seed in pots in a cold frame as soon as seed is ripe or propagate by division after flowering in early spring or late summer
- Ingestion may cause severe discomfort; skin irritant.