Helleborus x hybridus
A flower that begins to bloom in February and lasts until May? That’s the Lenten Rose. Though the flowers point downward the leaves stay green throughout the winter and it’s not a favorite meal of deer!. Actually what we call flowers are the plants sepals and the flower is almost invisible but the sepals are beautiful! The plant faithfully comes back for years and the blossoms are beautiful floating in a bowl of water on your table promising Spring is coming!
As early at 1400 BCE there are signs that the helleborus was used as a purgative to “cleanse the mind of all perverse habits” and ancient Greeks used it to “purge the veins of melancholy, and cheer the heart.” Which may have been quite an experience as the plant is poisonous to ingest.
Lenten Roses grow best in the shade and while slow to establish, last forever and don’t like to be moved.
Lenten Roses take a few years to flower and our plants at the Student Plant Sale have already spent that long growing before coming to you.
More info here.