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A picture of a Lenten Rose

Lenten Rose

Helleborus orientalis

Also known as

Oriental Hellebore, Hellebore, Lenten Hellebore, Winter Rose, Rose-Coloured Christmas Rose

Helleborus orientalis. Lenteroos 04 by Dominicus Johannes Bergsma (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Full Shade
Easy care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size








2 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of Lenten Rose

A photo of Lenten Rose
A photo of Lenten Rose
A photo of Lenten Rose
A white flower and green leaves of a Helleborus orientalis plant at The Newt Somerset
A photo of Lenten Rose

Lenten Rose Overview

Helleborus orientalis is a rhizomatous, clump-forming perennial, ideal for planting in scrub, woodland or grassy sites in the garden. It belongs to the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae. Commonly known as Hellebore, this species has beautiful nodding blooms which are often used as cut flowers. They are saucer-shaped and coloured white, pink, green or purple. Flowering typically occurs from February to March (UK) and this plant is popular with pollinating insects such as bees. It is cultivated commercially for the cut flower industry and grows best in well-draining soil and partially shaded conditions. Many cultivars have been developed for garden use, in a wide range of colours.

Common problems with Lenten Rose

Susceptible to snails, aphids, leaf spot and black rot. Hellebores can also suffer black death, this involves black streaking and mottling between leaf veins or black marks in a ringspot pattern down the leaf stalks.

How to harvest Lenten Rose

Flowers can be picked for the vase: pick at fully ripe stage to extend the vase life, that is when the stamens have dropped off and the seed pods have started to form. They may be less attractive, but they will last longer.

How to propagate Lenten Rose


Seeds can be sown as soon as they are harvested.


Divide plants after flowering in spring.


Divide plants after flowering in spring, splitting the rhizomes into pieces to regrow.

Special features of Lenten Rose

Pot plant

Can be grown in containers.

Winter colour

Attracts useful insects

Attracts bees

Attractive flowers

Flowers may be white, cream, pink, purple, green, frequently spotted and patterned on petal surfaces.

Other uses of Lenten Rose

Perfect for underplanting of roses and shrubs in flower beds/borders in sheltered areas.

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