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Helleborus Orientalis

Helleborus orientalis

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

Growzone: 4-9

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Helleborus Orientalis Plants for Sale Online

Helleborus orientalis, commonly called Lenten rose, is a clump-forming, late winter-blooming perennial which typically grows 1-1.5 feet tall. Features large, cup-shaped, rose-like, usually nodding flowers (3 to 4-inch 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 to 16 inch 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.


Growing Zone: 4-9
Mature Height: 12 – 18 inches
Mature Width: 12 inches
Sunlight: Full Sun to Part Shade
Water Requirements: Tolerates most moisture levels but does best in average to dry soils
This Plants Growzone: 4-9 Helleborus Orientalis Hardiness Zone

Additional Information

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 the division of the clumps (best in spring) and from seedlings that 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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