Christmas Rose


Height: 18" (45 cm)
Flowering Time: Winter/Spring
Flower Colour: White



Angiospermae (Angiosperms)
Subclass: Dicotyledonae (Dicotyledons)
Superorder: Magnoliidae (Magnolia Superorder)
Order: Ranunculares (Buttercup Order)
Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)
Genus: Helleborus (Hellebore)
Species: niger (black)
Helleborus niger

Helleborus niger is one of the most well-known plants, even if we do not grow it. It is one of the symbols of Christmas, appearing on Christmas cards, wrapping paper and decorating cakes, because it is in flower in mid-winter. It is a clump-forming perennial, with smooth leathery trefoil bluish leaves, and the large white buttercup-like flowers with a cluster of yellow stamens are borne on strong stems before and after Christmas. The 'black' of its Latin name refers to the black root. The seed pod is large, composed of seven (or more) pointed pea-pods joined together.

Helleborus niger prefers shaded conditions, preferably in soil which does not dry out, so is an ideal plant for a woodland garden or a north-facing border.



Harvesting and Growing from Seed:


Seeds self-sown
in summer
germinated the
following spring.

Seed Pod The seedpod is like seven short fat pea pods joined together, opening down one side.

Seed The seeds are rounded black ovals, with a brown ridge on one side. There are several seeds
in a pod.

Seedling The seedling has tough leaves divided into three lobed leaflets.

Helleborus seeds may germinate quicker if sown as soon as they are ripe.

(You can check the meaning of any technical terms new to you in the Botany section of the site)

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