Hellebores, or Lenten roses, have long been a staple of the shade garden. (Many varieties feel at home in the sun, but when we see this perennial it most often appears in the shade garden.) Its evergreen leaves add much-needed foliage to the winter and fall garden and its early-blooming flowers welcome spring with grace and good cheer. Many new varieties have been introduced over the past few years, increasing the plants’ popularity. We like to plant hellebores along with Autumn fern (Dryopteris erythrosora), coral bells (Heuchera) and black cohosh (Actaea racemosa).
Common Name: Hellebore, Lenten rose
Botanical Name: Helleborus hybidus Brandywine ‘Evening Mist’
Foliage: Glossy green
Flowers: Single blue, with silver blush
Height and width: 18–24 inches
Plant in full sun to full shade in moist, well-draining, alkaline soil. Soil that is high in organic matter is best for this plant. Having no known pests or diseases, it is a pretty care-free plant once you meet its basic requirements.
Photo courtesy of Sunny Borders Nurseries.