Hellebore, Lenten Rose
Helleborus x hybridus

Family: Ranunculaceae (ra-nun-kew-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Helleborus (hel-eh-BORE-us) (Info)
Species: x hybridus (hy-BRID-us) (Info)
View this plant in a garden

Category:

Perennials

Height:

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Spacing:

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade

Danger:

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Pale Pink

Pink

Rose/Mauve

Magenta (Pink-Purple)

Fuchsia (Red-Purple)

Coral/Apricot

Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)

Pale Green

White/Near White

Cream/Tan

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Spring

Mid Winter

Foliage:

Deciduous

Smooth-Textured

Other details:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Sacramento, California

San Francisco, California

Acworth, Georgia

Cumming, Georgia

Marietta, Georgia (2 reports)

Rome, Georgia

Smiths Grove, Kentucky

Chelmsford, Massachusetts

Nantucket, Massachusetts

Norton, Massachusetts

Mason, Michigan

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Liberty, Missouri

Cicero, New York

Banner Elk, North Carolina

Bessemer City, North Carolina

Lake Toxaway, North Carolina

Broken Bow, Oklahoma

Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania

Hermitage, Pennsylvania

Kintnersville, Pennsylvania

West Chester, Pennsylvania

Blythewood, South Carolina

Memphis, Tennessee

Arlington, Texas

Garland, Texas

Suffolk, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

5
positives
2
neutrals
1
negative
RatingContent
Positive

On Apr 14, 2014, lejardin24 from Hermitage, PA wrote:

Delightful harbinger of Spring! Be sure to wear gloves when trimming back the old foliage after the winter as the plant has toxins that can be absorbed through the skin. We live in Western Pennsylvania where the soil is quite acidic. My first plants struggled for years and I could not figure out why, so I tried scratching lime into the soil around the plant in early Spring and then again in fall. Since then, my plants have thrived putting on abundant displays of flowers and foliage every year.

Positive

On Sep 23, 2013, ugamom from Marietta, GA wrote:

The Cornell fact sheet on hellebores states: "Serious poisoning following ingestion is rare." NC State reflects same. Unless you make a real effort to ingest this plant, you're safe. I have had these plants in my garden for thirty years with dogs and kids present.

Negative

On Mar 25, 2013, PaulaTx1 from Baytown, TX wrote:

Hellebores are toxic! All parts of the plant are toxic to some extent. This plant is said to have been used as the first chemical warfare; it is said ancient Greeks used hellebore plants to poison the city water supply of their enemies and this caused all in the town to die. This plant was also used to make poison to put on the tips of arrows to make the arrows more deadly. This plant also had medicinal "properties"...such as a cure for insanity. There are several species (subspecies?) of hellebores, and while some species are more toxic than others, all hellebores appear to be toxic to some extent. PLEASE be careful with this plant around pets and small children. Do not let pets or children chew on these plants.

Positive

On Jul 31, 2006, Ordelia from Banner Elk, NC (Zone 6a) wrote:

GROW THIS PLANT! It has lovely flowers at the time of year we need them most that last up to 6 weeks-- tons of colours and cultivars! The foliage is quite attractive and en masse, this plant is like a Pachysandra with personality!
Downside-- Germination of seed takes up to 3 years. Buy nursery grown stock or cuttings. It can be expensive to get a grown cover effect :(

Positive

On Apr 17, 2005, flowerE1 from Suffolk, VA wrote:

Blooms begin late Winter to early Spring and last a very, very long time. The plants are evergreen, but older leaves begin to look ragged--I cut them back when the new growth appears.

Positive

On Jan 5, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Many named cultivars are available with varying colors and mottling. This plant brings encouragement that spring is coming to gardeners weary of winter.

Neutral

On Mar 5, 2002, Dynamo wrote:

Also known as the Christmas rose

Neutral

On Feb 10, 2002, Baa wrote:

A clump forming, variable perennial, parents are H. orientalis and other species of Helleborus.

Has leathery, toothed, dark green, pedate leaves. Bears long lasting, saucer shaped, 5 petalled, green, white, pink, cream, purple or yellow flowers sometimes mottled with another colour up to 3 inches across.

Flowers February-April

Likes neutral, humus rich, well drained, clayish soil in light shade.