Hardy, late winter to spring-blooming perennial
Description: Saucer-shaped, nodding flowers in a mix of colors, possibilities on separate plants include shades of white, cream, pink, and purple; dark green, leathery, evergreen leaves
Habit: Flowers on 12 to 18-inch stalks; foliage forms a large mound up to 2 feet across
Culture: Prefers light shade and limestone-rich garden loam; cut back last year’s foliage when new flowers emerge for cleaner appearance
Hardiness: Cold hardy to USDA Zone 4
Origin: Garden origin
Attributes: Attracts bees; Deer resistant; Drought tolerant; Cut flower
The true Lenten Rose, Helleborus orientalis, native to Asia Minor, Greece, and Turkey, crosses easily with other Hellebore species and thus has become increasingly rare; it has been mostly supplanted by H. x hybridus, which is largely derived from H. orientalis. The Lenten Rose was not commonly cultivated in gardens until the early 19th century. This slowly spreading, tough, deer-resistant plant is perfect for dry, shady spots in the garden. The flowers are attractive to bees and are good for cutting.