Helleborus hybrids

Common Name
Lenten Rose; Hellebore

Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)

Tree or plant type / form
Herbaceous Perennial

Landscape Use
The species (e.g., H. orientalis, H. lividus) are rarely used in gardens as many hellebores hybridize easily and dozens of improved garden plants with superior flower colors and traits have been developed.  Plants can be grown in mass plantings in dry, shady locations or where the clumps will slowly by rhizomes or through self-seeding. 

Season of interest and/or other ornamental feature(s)
Yearlong interest 

Size at Landscape Maturity
Mature plants can form clumps that are 18 to 24 inches tall and 24 to 30 inches wide.

Light exposure
Prefers dappled sunlight or partial shade, but can tolerate heavier shade

USDA Hardiness zones

Origin / Native locale
The various parent species of modern garden hybrids are native to central and southeastern Europe, Turkey, and the Caucasus region.

Wildlife Value (incl. pollinators)
Supports pollinators like native solitary bees that are active in early spring.

Soil Type & Drainage
Plants perform best in organically rich, well-drained, alkaline soils.

Deer and rabbit resistant; one of only a few perennials that thrives in dry shade.

Leaf Description
Evergreen leaves are dark green, glossy, leathery, palmately lobed, and often toothed.

Bloom Time in Northeast Ohio
March to May

Flower Description
Hellebore flowers resemble other members of the Buttercup Family in having showy sepals, rather than petals.  The flowers of modern hybrids come in a rainbow of colors in both single and double forms. Flower colors range from pure white to a deep purple, bordering on black, with others exhibiting various shades of pink, red, yellow, green, and cream.  Many cultivars offer a combination of these colors via striped, speckled, or picotee (edged in a darker color) sepals.

Cone / Fruit
Small inflated follicles

Available at

Secrest Arboretum Plant Discovery Days and selected local nurseries

Additional information  
Can cause illness and death if ingested. Both living and dried plants (leaves, stems, roots) of all species of Helleborus are extremely poisonous.

Use the Secrest Aboretum Explorer to find locations where this plant is located on the Wooster campus.

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