Hellebore Orientalis

Helleborus orientalis

Growzone: 4-9

Hellebore Orientalis blooms late in winter, bearing nodding, 2-inch flowers in shades of whitish green, soft purple, or rose, often spotted with purple.

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1 Gal $21.95

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Full Description

Helleborus orientalis, commonly called Lenten rose, is a clump-forming, late winter-blooming perennial which typically grows 1-1.5′ tall. Features large, cup-shaped, rose-like, usually nodding flowers (3-4″ diameter) with center crowns of conspicuously contrasting yellow stamens. Flowers usually appear in clusters of 1-4 on thick stems rising above the foliage. Flower color is extremely variable, ranging from white to pink to light rose-purple, frequently with interior spotting. Palmate, serrate, leathery, 8-16″ wide, glossy, basal, dark green leaves (7-9 leaflets) are evergreen in warm climates but deciduous in extremely cold winters. In the St. Louis area, plants will remain evergreen in moderate winters, but may become scorched and tattered in extremely cold weather, particularly if not insulated by snow cover. Blooms in late winter (sometimes when snow is still present) and continues into spring, with a long, 8-10 week bloom period. Leaves, stems and roots are poisonous.

Genus name comes from the Greek words bora meaning food and helein meaning injures/destroys in reference to the plant’s toxic leaves, stems and roots which are poisonous to humans if ingested.

Best grown in organically rich, humusy, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Locate plants in areas protected from cold winter winds. Clumps establish fairly quickly. Although the foliage is evergreen, it may become scorched and tattered in extremely harsh winters, particularly if not sited in locations protected from cold winter winds and/or insulated by snow cover. Cut back flowering stems after bloom to promote new foliage growth. New plants can be obtained from division of the clumps (best in spring) and from seedlings which grow up around the plants as a result of self seeding. A slightly larger and much easier plant to grow than the similar, but earlier blooming, Helleborus niger.

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