Helleborus x hybridus (also called Lenten rose)
Herbaceous perennial grown for winter and spring flowers. All parts are poisonous to humans, but flowers provide a rich nectar source for early foraging insects.
Flowers in winter and spring.
Forms slightly untidy clumps of leaves and flowers in winter. H and S: up to 45cm.
Round, smooth stems, green with red shading on lower half.
Leaves, dark green, some with reddish shades, palmate, divided into lance-shaped, tooth edged segments.
Flowers, open, cup-shaped, five-petalled. In shades ranging from white through pale yellow, pink to dark purple, sometimes mottled with another colour. Up to 8cm across.
Shade to partial shade.
Moisture retentive, well drained.
Fully to half hardy.
Some deciduous varieties retain leaves over winter and these should be removed in early spring as flowers develop. Prone to aphid attack and may need spraying.
Divide in autumn or very early spring. Collect and sow fresh seed in autumn. May also self seed.
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