Helleborus niger (Christmas Rose)

Scientific Name

Helleborus niger L.

Common Names

Christmas Rose, Black Hellebore, Black Helleborus

Scientific Classification

Family: Ranunculaceae
Subfamily: Ranunculoideae
Tribe: Helleboreae
Genus: Helleborus


Color: White
Bloom Time: Midwinter to early spring


Helleborus niger is an evergreen perennial, up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall, with dark green, leathery, pedate leaves carried on stems. The flowers are large and flat, white, or occasionally pink, up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) wide, borne on short stems from midwinter to early spring.

Helleborus niger - Christmas Rose

How to Grow and Care

When planting from seed or division, place the Hellebore into well-draining, organic soil in filtered sun or shady location. The Hellebore plant will return for many years; make sure space will accommodate growth and has proper sunlight.

Hellebores need no more than a few hours of dappled light and grow successfully in shady areas. Plant the Hellebore under deciduous trees or scattered through a woodland garden or shaded natural area.

Soaking the soil in which the Hellebore is growing helps the Hellebore plant to look its best. Hellebore care includes removal of older leaves when they appear damaged. Care for Hellebores should also include careful fertilization. Too much nitrogen may result in lush foliage and a shortage of blooms.

Plant Hellebore seeds in the fall. A 60-day moist chilling period is needed when planting seeds of the Hellebore plant. Planting seed in fall allows this to happen naturally in areas with cold winters. Wait three to four years for blooms on young plants grown from seed. Divide overgrown clumps in spring, after flowering or in autumn… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Hellebores.


Native to southern Europe and Asia.


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