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Hybrid Lenten Rose Helleborus x hybridus

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
hel-eh-BORE-us HI-bri-dus
This plant has medium severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Despite its common name, Lenten rose, this clump-forming, broadleaf evergreen perennial is not a garden rose at all. It is a member of the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae). The hybrid hellebores are sometimes called hybrid winter roses or hybrid Lenten rose. Its genus name derives from the Greek word bora, which means food, and helein, which means injures or destroys, referring to its leaves, stems, and roots, all of which are toxic to humans. The genus Helleborus is native to Europe and Asia. 

Lenten rose thrives in deep shade to partial shade to dappled sunlight. It is intolerant of bright winter sun and high temperatures. It prefers above-average to rich, well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil with plenty of added compost. While it is relatively drought tolerant once established, it does best with consistent moisture, although it is sensitive to soggy soil. In colder areas, plants should be sheltered from winter winds. Mature plants form clumps up to 2 feet tall and 30 inches wide, which may be divided for propagation. 

This perennial can grow in Carolina gardens or naturalized areas from the mountains and piedmont to the coast. It is unique in that flower stems quickly push up from the ground at the first sign of warmer weather in late winter, adding early season color. There are numerous hybrid selections and species available, but some may be difficult to distinguish, or may be misidentified in the trade. Many are simply called Lenten rose, a name historically associated with H. orientalis

Use Lenten rose for border fronts, patios in protected areas, or shady spots in the landscape. Add it to a cutting or winter garden. 

Like all hellebores, lenten rose is resistant to deers.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Flowers nodding, petaloid sepals

  • Short plant with stiff, large, evergreen leaves 

  • Leaves are palmately divided into many leaflets

  • Flower center of numerous stamens outlined by tubular nectaries, or fleshy, beaked capsules

 Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Fungal diseases are the main problem.  

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Annuals, Perennials, Vines, and Groundcovers" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens. 

More information on Helleborus.

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscapes:
Shaded Patio Garden Shady Garden in Cabarrus County
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Cinnamon Snow'
  • 'Dark and Handsome'
  • 'Double Ellen Pink'
  • Double White
  • 'Ivory Prince'
  • 'Orientalis Red'
  • 'Painted Doubles'
  • 'Penny's Pink'
  • 'Purple Ruffles'
  • 'Royal Heritage'
  • 'Silver Lace'
  • 'Sparkling Diamond'
  • 'Winter Delights Violet'
'Cinnamon Snow', 'Dark and Handsome', 'Double Ellen Pink', Double White, 'Ivory Prince', 'Orientalis Red', 'Painted Doubles', 'Penny's Pink', 'Purple Ruffles', 'Royal Heritage', 'Silver Lace', 'Sparkling Diamond', 'Winter Delights Violet'
Tags:
#evergreen#white flowers#purple flowers#pink flowers#red flowers#yellow flowers#shade garden#broadleaf evergreen#spring flowers#winter interest#apvg#moist soil#well-drained soil#spreading#rich soils#deer resistant#showstopper#long bloom time#clumping#fantz#flowers early spring#border front#partial shade tolerant#HS302#flowers late winter#apvg-p#heavy shade tolerant#woodland garden#perennial#patio
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Cinnamon Snow'
  • 'Dark and Handsome'
  • 'Double Ellen Pink'
  • Double White
  • 'Ivory Prince'
  • 'Orientalis Red'
  • 'Painted Doubles'
  • 'Penny's Pink'
  • 'Purple Ruffles'
  • 'Royal Heritage'
  • 'Silver Lace'
  • 'Sparkling Diamond'
  • 'Winter Delights Violet'
'Cinnamon Snow', 'Dark and Handsome', 'Double Ellen Pink', Double White, 'Ivory Prince', 'Orientalis Red', 'Painted Doubles', 'Penny's Pink', 'Purple Ruffles', 'Royal Heritage', 'Silver Lace', 'Sparkling Diamond', 'Winter Delights Violet'
Tags:
#evergreen#white flowers#purple flowers#pink flowers#red flowers#yellow flowers#shade garden#broadleaf evergreen#spring flowers#winter interest#apvg#moist soil#well-drained soil#spreading#rich soils#deer resistant#showstopper#long bloom time#clumping#fantz#flowers early spring#border front#partial shade tolerant#HS302#flowers late winter#apvg-p#heavy shade tolerant#woodland garden#perennial#patio
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Helleborus
    Family:
    Melathiaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Crosses between H. orientalis and H. odorus and H. purpurescens
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Deer
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Spreading
    Weeping
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    Clustered, green, fleshy capsules, long-beaked, surrounded by persistent sepals.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Long Bloom Season
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Winter
    Flower Shape:
    Cup
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Five overlapping petal-like sepals surround a bell-shaped crown of yellow stamens. A stalked cyme or panicle, terminal, bracteated, often nodding; bracts gigantic, leaf-like, dark green, entire to sparsely toothed, +/- lobed. 1-many, usually greenish, tinted gold or brown, pink or purple, cup or bowl-shaped, nodding, 3-4" dia; sepals 5, showy, pigmented, broadly ovate-elliptic; inner petal segments numerous, consisting of tubular nectaries, green to greenish-yellow, ephemeral; stamens numerous, anther yellow.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leathery
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves are divided into 7 to 9 segments with an umbrella-like shape. Tough, almost woody stems have leaves and terminal inflorescence on the same stem. Basal or cauline, palmately compound, coriaceous, glabrous; petiloes elongate, peltate; leaflets 3-9, irregularly toothed or serrate.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Stout, rhizomatous or exposed.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Patio
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Cutting Garden
    Shade Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Heavy Shade
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Medium
    Poison Symptoms:
    Can cause illness if ingested. Both living and dried plants of all species of Helleborus are extremely poisonous. Plants contain a cardiac glycoside (helleborin), which acts directly on the heart muscle, causing convulsions, and delirium.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    glycoside and saponin
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Leaves