Helleborus orientalis

Helleborus orientalis, Waldstein & Kitaibel (1809)

Oriental hellebore

The oriental hellebore is native to deciduous and evergreen woods and grassy clearances in northeastern Greece, Turkey, along the Black Sea and the Caucasus Mountains.

Helleborus orientalis is very durable and easy to grow. It does well in most places in the garden. Its place should not be too hot and dry in the summer and not excessively wet in the winter. Helleborus orientalis prefers a position in partial shade. It also thrives in full sun, if the soil contains enough moisture. However, a prolonged period of drought stress can have a negative impact on the number of flowers the plant produces in the following spring. This perennial is best fed during its main active growth in spring.

Its dark, greyish leaves are divided into seven to eleven leaflets and survive the winter even under snow cover until the plant starts to flower. The plants can reach 50 cm in diameter and are sometimes hairy.

Appearing between February and May in the wild, the flowers come in different shapes and shades. Flower colours include green, white, pink and red, as well as any combination or shade of these colours. Each branched flowering stem usually carries three flowers that turn upright after they have been pollinated.