Lenten Rose

Helleborus orientalis


This handsome garden perennial is native to Asia Minor, Greece, and Turkey. Although it was possibly the tall, reddish-flowered Hellebore described by Philip Miller in his Gardeners Dictionary of 1754, the Lenten Rose was not commonly cultivated until the early 19th century. Hellebore is an ancient term for a plant supposed to cure insanity. Like Christmas Rose (H. niger), Lenten Rose is an extremely long-lived plant when well situated.

A hardy, late-winter to early-spring flowering perennial, Lenten Rose displays greenish-white flowers marked with red or dark purple on 12 to 18-inch stalks above previous season's foliage.  Its handsome, leathery leaves form a large mound in the garden up to 2-feet across.  It prefers light shade and limestone-rich garden loam and can be divided in fall.

Growth Type: Perennial Color(s): White Hardiness Zones: 4 - 9 Location at Monticello: East Front Planting Conditions: Shade Map it: 38.010277,-78.452160

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Blooming Dates 2002: Feb 21 – May 62003: Mar 7 – Apr 222004: Feb 13 – Apr 232005: Feb 9 – Apr 262006: Mar 1 – Apr 282007: Feb 16 – Apr 62008: Feb 11 – Jun 242009: Feb 23 – May 112010: Mar 13 – Jun 92011: Feb 8 – May 222012: Mar 9 – Jun 222013: Feb 25 – Jul 162014: Feb 24 – Jun 15