Even in the dead of winter when nothing else will grow, winter gardens will come alive with the drop-dead gorgeous hellebore. Hellebores thrive in cold climates and are a must for winter gardens, adding a burst of colour to the otherwise dull landscape! These showy, attractive flowers come in a variety of colours, including green, yellow, pink and purple. The flowers typically have five petals, although some are double-blooms.
Not only are these saucer-shaped flowers beautiful, they are also hardy and long-lasting. Hellebores are shade-loving flowers, making them ideal in woodland gardens, especially under deciduous trees. For the best visual impact, plant them in groups. They require well-drained, moist, fertile soil for the best performance. In addition, many varieties do well in containers as indoor plants.
They also make excellent, long lasting cut flowers. A simple, yet elegant design idea is to snip off the flower heads and float in a shallow bowl of water.
Hellebore or helleborus, is a genus of flowering plants belonging to the buttercup family with about 20 species native to many parts Europe, including western Great Britain, Spain, Romania and Turkey. Common varieties include H. niger or the Christmas Rose, H. foetidus or stinking hellebore, and H. orientalis or Lenten Rose.
There are two main types of hellebores: caulescent, plant with no stems and acaulescent, ones with stems.
Climate zones: 4-9
Fun Flower Facts about the Hellebore:
- immature flowers will wilt when picked
- parts of the plant can cause sneezing
- many of the species are poisonous and can cause vertigo and cardiac arrest
- In Greek mythology, hellebore was used to save daughters from a madness that caused them to run naked through the city, crying, weeping, and screaming
- hellebore was once used in Europe as medicine to treat paralysis, gout and insanity
- in witchcraft, hellebores were used to summon demons
- The Legend of the Christmas Rose (funflowerfacts.com)