Helleborus niger or Christmas Rose







Helleborus Niger or Christmas Rose
Genus: Helleborus
Species: nigerCommon Name: Christmas rose
Exposure: Partial shade, Shade
Hardiness: Hardy
Soil type: Fertile, loamy, calcareous soil, rich in organic matter
Height: 30-40cm
Spread: 30 – 40cm
Time to plant seeds: September to November
Flowering period: December to March

One of the nicest sights in the garden during the depths of winter is the Helleborus Niger or Christmas Rose.

This Evergreen perennial - which holds The Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit (AGM). bears flat, nodding, white flowers with golden stamens that can measure more than 4 inches in diameter, throughout December to March, standing out perfectly against the leathery green divided foliage.

Growing to a height of around 1ft , Helleborus niger like a fertile, loamy, calcareous soil, rich in organic matter such as leaf-mould.  Plants are happiest in partial shade and are perfectly suited to a woodland garden. They are also quite happy planted in pots and make a great feature close to the house when most other plants have died back for winter.

Helleborus niger can be fairly slow to mature but once they have done so they will form large clumps that should remain vigorous for years.  Hybrids of the Christmas Rose such as the following are bred for the larger flowers, with more prolific and vigorous growth , maturing much earlier than the standard niger.


Helleborus niger 'HGC Josef Lemper'

Helleborus  'Cinnamon snow'

Helleborus  'HGC Ice Breaker'

Helleborus Cinnamon Snow
illustrationHelleborus Joseph LemperHelleborus Cinnamon Snow
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