Helleborus orientalis ROYAL HERITAGE™ Strain
Photo Courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.
| ||Common Name: Lenten Rose|
Common Name (Alternative): Hellebore
2005 Perennial Plant of the Year--Helleborus x hybridus
'Royal Heritage' is a beautiful hybrid strain of Helleborus that includes a wide range of sumptuous colors such as purple, near-black, white, pale green, yellow, pink, rose, and red. Some flowers are attractively spotted or brushed with a contrasting color. (Plants should be purchased in bloom if a specific flower color is desired.) Each blossom has overlapping petals, forming a cup-shape about two inches in length. The evergreen, leathery, serrated leaves form an umbrella-like covering which sometimes coddle the nodding flowers.
Hellebores are the harbingers of spring, blooming for six weeks or more beginning in late winter. They are often flowering during the Christian season of Lent, from which they get their common name, Lenten Rose. This is the perfect plant for naturalizing in moist, woodland areas where its extensive root system will spread as far as it is allowed.
Origin: Not Native to North America
Sun or Shade?:
Part shade (4-6 hrs. direct sun)
Full shade (< 4 hrs. direct sun)
Wet or dry?:
Low water needs
Average water needs
Need critter resistant plants?:
How fast should it grow?:
When should it bloom?:
Looking for seasonal interest?:
Evergreen (in some or all zones)
How's your soil?:
Sweet or Sour Soil?:
Neutral Soil (pH = 7.0)
Alkaline Soil (pH > 7.0)
What's your garden style?:
Hellebores are enjoyable to grow because they are low-maintenance and disease/pest-free. Simply trim back last year's foliage in the spring. They can adapt to almost any growing conditions. Though they prefer rich, moist, organic soil, they will also grow in sandy or clay soil. They can even tolerate short periods of drought. The soil pH can range anywhere from slightly acidic to slightly alkaline.
Hellebores are shade plants that need to be protected from the hot afternoon sun. They will grow in full shade under large deciduous trees as long as they receive full sun from winter to spring before the trees get their leaves.
To increase the number of hellebores in your garden, mulch them heavily in the fall. The new seedlings will grow in this mulch come spring and can then be transplanted elsewhere in the garden. WARNING: Hellebores are poisonous. Do not consume any part of the plant!
In popular legend, Lenten Rose were blooming outside the stable in Bethlehem, hence the name "Lenten" rose. However, Hellebores aren't native to that area.