Purple/Black Hellebores Are Real Show Stoppers

Purple/Black Hellebores Are Real Show Stoppers

Hellebores, sometimes called Lenten Roses, are a tough, beautiful two-inch flower that will soon be coming up in beds in our region. Many are frost resistant and can be found bending their heads in the snow.

Colors range from white and pink to lime green, brown and purple/black, thanks to hybridization. Although the ones from the florist only last about five days (cut from the garden they last longer), they work gloriously with poppies, ranunculus, sweet peas, peonies, hyacinths, roses and daisies.

Hellebores are actually an evergreen perennial. The five-petaled flowers don’t drop their petals, but beware of the pollen, which drops from their heads after a few days. Perhaps a platter or a cutting board under your vase can be used to protect a table top or cloth from stains.

Look for the plants in your garden center. It’s best to plant them in the ground near the house or in a border with shrubbery. Or you could put them in pots, just as long as they have good soil. They like a little sun in winter and no sun in summer. They will bloom in late winter and continue past Easter.

One caution: The roots and leaves are poisonous. (There are lots of folktales about Hellebores.)

And one more thing, deer don’t eat them!

Finally, just remember this: A purple/black Hellebore is a real show stopper in an arrangement! So grow on!

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