Helleborus x hybridus (H. orientalis) - Lenten Rose Hybrids
Lenten Rose is
considered by plantspeople around the world as an easy-to-grow, winter or early-spring
flowering evergreen herbaceous plant that is exquisite in flower and foliage.
The large bell shaped white to purple flowers hang down; some call it drooping.
The flowers used to be described as white- to rose- speckled, but breeders have
made dramatic strides in very recent years to provide a diversity of colors
including dark purple, almost black, red and even yellow. The blooms average
3-4 inches wide and have a relatively long bloom duration of 8-10 weeks. Hardy
to zones 4-9; hellebores grow 15-18 inches tall.
Helleborus x hybridus like partial to full shade and a moist alkaline soil, but are tolerant of soil environment and can tolerate a brief drought. Pruning to remove the winter-tattered foliage just before bloom in February to provide a better show for the emerging flowers is recommended.
Helleborus x hybridus does produce seed that can result in numerous plants under and around the original plant that require removal if they are not the same as the original. Seed is a form of propagation of Hellebores, but division will help ensure a desired hybrid is reproduced exactly as the mother plant.