The hellebore is one of the earliest blooms to be spotted in the garden, appearing from late winter to early spring. H. niger is a semi-evergreen perennial to 30cm, with pedately lobed, leathery, dark green leaves and, despite the name, the flowers are usually pure white or pink-flushed white, bowl-shaped flowers up to 8cm in width. Known commonly as the ‘Christmas Rose’ it usually flowers earlier than H. orientalis cultivars, often in January or February, but mine has sometimes not flowered until March. They self-seed freely and they dislike being disturbed.
The main Hellebores to be cultivated by gardeners are the Lenten Rose varieties (Helleborus orientalis) producing large saucer-shaped flowers in a wide range of colour forms from white to pink, plum and deep blackish-purple, often conspicuously spotted reddish-purple. They will bloom from late January onwards.
They love being in dappled sunlight and need no more than a few hours a day which is why the perfect location is underneath deciduous trees or scattered in a woodland garden. Remove the old blackened leaves and allow the new growth and buds to emerge. They do not require a lot of fertiliser, but do need protecting from slugs. Though having said that mine do seem to survive slug attacks reasonably well.
36 thoughts on “Flower of the Month: January”
Beautiful images of beautiful flowers
Many thanks MM 🙂
I suppose hellebores would be winter flowering plants here too. I must have a look for them. Every time I see a photo I love their pretty colours and shape.
The shape and size of the flowers are lovely, but they do tend to hang their heads downwards so good to plant in a raised bed or wall as mine are or a slope.
Should be a few more to choose from next month!
Good, love flowers 🌺
Lovely to see this splash of colour in winter
I have several of the white ones – all from seeds of the original plant, but have recently bought three H.orientalis. No idea of the colours so I shall have to wait a year or two to fond out! Gardening is a game of patience 🙂
Well done with seed saving. Definitely patience needed
I don’t think I’ve ever seen this flower before — and I can’t imagine a more beautiful introduction than the one you’ve given us here.
Glorious, Jude! I do love these. 🙂 🙂 But I’m not coming back to all that ice and snow.
Haha… I can’t blame you. Even had some snow/sleet here this morning, but it swiftly moved east and northwards leaving us with a cold but sunny afternoon.
Saw the forecast and shivered. 🙂 🙂 Lots of overnight rain here for Becky. A gentle walk today, maybe with beach…
No walking here today! Bitterly cold and a very lazy wind, as my mother would have said 🙂
I haven’t looked at my photos but we did make it to the beach this afternoon. That lovely, delicate white broom is in full flower 🙂 🙂
Ah, I remember broom from South Africa, we had some lovely red and white flowering kind 🙂
A beautiful selection, Jude.
Such beautiful photos Jude.
Thank you Elaine.
Gorgeous . . . . I have not looked after mine for years and so they are not looking so good these days, and with not being there either most Januarys I guess I am probably not going to doing anything about it anytime soon! Thank goodness I can enjoy yours instead xx
Well they love to stay in one place and gently seed around so you should have a very nice clump by now.
I’ll check when we return!