Flower Spotlight: Hellebore, the “Christmas Rose”

Helleborus niger, commonly called ‘Christmas Rose,’ is not a rose at all, but a member of the Ranunculaceae, along with buttercups, Ranunculus, Delphinium, Colombine, Clematis, Nigella, and many others.  H. niger and the dozen or so other Hellebore species are native to Europe and Asia.  Although used in ancient medicine to treat maladies from paralysis to insanity, Hellebores contain various toxins that can be fatal.

Prized today as early-blooming garden flowers, Hellebores come in colors from green to white, pink, burgundy, and inky purple.  Characteristically downward facing, recent breeding has created more upright varieties.  Hellebores are also beautiful in floral designs from bridal bouquets to garden-inspired centerpieces.  They do best in cool weather.  Here are a few photos I took of hellebores growing at the Kubota Garden in Seattle.

All Images Copyright 2011 Christopher Flowers LLC.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s