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Helleborus orientalis

Lenten rose

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Key information

Plant type

Hardy perennial

Flower colour






Skill level


Helleborus orientalis

Plant details

A winter-flowering staple in the cottage garden, hellebores produce large clusters of saucer-shaped flowers with white, pink, green, mauve or smoky purple flowers. The large leathery, evergreen leaves persist throughout the year but should be cut back in the spring when flowers and new foliage emerge. Plants hybridise and self-seed freely.

Helleborus orientalis bears nodding or outward-facing, saucer-shaped, flowers, in white, pink, green, primrose, mauve or smoky purple, from February onwards. It's perfect for growing in large clumps, particularly beneath trees in shady borders.

For best results, grow Helleborus orientalis in moist but well-drained soil in partial shade. Propagate by fresh seed, or divide plants in autumn or early spring. All parts of the plant may cause serious discomfort if ingested and the sap may irritate the skin.

Family: Ranunculaceae

Genus: Helleborus

Species: orientalis

Plant type: Hardy perennial

Flower colour: Mixed

Foliage colour: Dark green

Feature: Flowers

Sun exposure: Partial shade, Shade

Soil: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Acidic, Chalky/alkaline, Dry

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Experienced

Height: 45cm

Spread: 45cm

Time to plant seeds: September to November

Flowering period: February to April

Reader reviews


thank you for all the good information.
I wondered what to do, leaves persisted these last few years & grown tall, shading some spring flowers out.
with my new found confidence, next spring they're for the chop & hopefully other plants will get a look in too...maybe the leaves will be smaller too?

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