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All About Hellebores

by Halle Lyle on Jan 25, 2024

Say hello to our Bloom Works flower of the month: the Hellebore! This gorgeous and hardy blossom is a winter favorite due to its early bloom and low maintenance nature. The Hellebore is native to much of Europe, as well as parts of Western Asia and China1, and you may also be familiar with the Hellebore as the “Christmas Rose” or “Lenten Rose”. These names come from their association with late winter, however, these beauties aren’t roses at all! The hellebore belongs to the buttercup family!2

Hellebores are perennials, so they’ll bloom year after year, and can thrive in USDA zones 3-9. Where there is no denying that resilience is a big part of their draw, convenience is far from the only reason for the hellebore’s widespread, lasting popularity. You can also thank a seemingly endless choice of colors and variations for that! White and pink are among the most popular choices, but hellebores can be found in orange, yellow, green, and even dark eggplant shades that seem black to the eye.

If we’ve managed to pique your interest in growing hellebores, you should note that they are toxic to humans and pets, so they’re best kept out of reach of children and animals. Hellebores are best suited to partial shade, in moist soil (though they are quite drought tolerant!) and should be well watered during the spring and autumn.3 With proper care, the hellebore will be a crown jewel of your winter garden with its February-May blooms, and large, evergreen leaves!

Here’s a tip on hellebores from Michelle, our Bloom Works Sales and Event Coordinator:

Although the most popular color is white, Hellebore blooms in apricot, yellow, green, dusky pink, maroon and black shades. They thrive from Fall to Spring because they love the cold weather of Winter and shade. The genus name comes from the Greek words bora meaning “food” and helein meaning “injures/destroys”. Because of the plants’ toxic leaves, stems and roots, they are poisonous to humans if ingested.