Distinctive, long-lived plants that add color to the garden for several months in winter and spring, hellebores are also appreciated for their attractive foliage. Each leaf consists of a long leafstalk ending in large, leathery leaflets grouped together like fingers on an outstretched hand. Flowers are usually shaped like cups or bells (those of Helleborus niger are saucer shaped), either outward facing or drooping; they consist of a ring of petal-like sepals ranging in color from white and green through pink and red to deep purple (rarely yellow). Flowers of all hellebores persist beyond the bloom periods listed, gradually turning green.
From Europe. Leaves have no obvious stems. Elegant plant to 1 ft. tall and 1 1/2 ft. wide, blooming Christmas time into spring. Often planted in warm-winter climates but seldom thrives there. Plants of H. orientalis are often mislabeled as Christmas rose. Lustrous dark green leaves are divided into seven to nine lobes with a few large teeth; they seem to rise directly from the soil. White, 2-in. flowers appear singly or in groups of two or three on a stout stem about the same height as the foliage clump. Blooms turn pinkish with age.
Native to eastern North America. Creeping stems send up erect branches to 6 in. high, with oval, 2-in....
From Europe. Leaves have no obvious stems. Elegant plant to 1 ft. tall and 1 1/2 ft. wide, blooming Ch...
Native to Siberia and Japan. Foliage clump to 2 ft. tall and wide, with 3–4-ft. flower stalks in...