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HELLEBORUS orientalis

Image of Helleborus orientalis

Felder Rushing

Family

Ranunculaceae

Botanical Name

HELLEBORUS orientalis

Plant Common Name

Lenten Rose

General Description

The Lenten rose is an evergreen, winter blooming perennial admired for its showy, persistent flowers. It originates from Greece, Turkey, and the Caucasus region where it inhabits open woodlands.

The large coarse leaves of this clump-forming hellebore are deeply divided, dark green and leathery. The flowers appear in midwinter or early spring, depending on the zone, and are large, five-petaled and saucer-shaped. There are many wonderful cultivars that may come in shades of pale green, white, rosy purple or pink. The sepals often persist and can become darker with age. The lovely foliage will add texture and interest to the garden all season—though the previous year’s leaves should be removed in spring.

This shade-loving plant will tolerate partial sun but full is often too harsh—especially where summers are hot. It prefers rich, neutral to slightly acidic soil with average drainage. The Lenten rose is more tolerant of heat than others and is easily transplanted. Plant it in masses under trees or in beds where you can enjoy its winter blooms. Hellebores make delightful long-lasting cut flowers too.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 3

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    1b, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tender Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    12"-18" / 30.5cm - 45.7cm

  • Width

    12"-18" / 30.5cm - 45.7cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Winter, Late Winter

  • Native To

    Mediterranean, Turkey

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Green, Purple, Pink, Rose

  • Fruit Color

    Dark Green, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Cutflower, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes