Heliborous Niger - Christmas Rose
Heliborous Niger - Christmas Rose

Heliborous Niger - Christmas Rose

Fancy a Christmas rose? Well here is one at work today. However this plant is a Hellebore, Heliborous niger and actually a member of the buttercup family! Not to be confused with helleborus orientalis which bloom around about mid-Febuary.The black hellebore name is thought to originate from the colour of the plant's roots. They share with Orientalis the same growing requirements of a moist fertile soil, at the front of a border in a sheltered spot. Trim off the old leaves after flowering, but I tend to remove a few to expose the delightful white petalled blooms with their eye catching yellow stamens. An annual mulch of well rotted garden compost, farm manure or leaf mould around the plants is a good idea. Beware though this plant when established resents being moved. If you leave some of the flowerheads on to run to seed, then seedlings very often germinate close by. .These can be lifted when big enough and potted up to grown on and then when big enough as viable plants transferred to the border. You will see alot of these for sale in garden centres, farmshops, and DIY stores and even supermarkets. They are a joyful plant for the dullest time of the year. This one pictured has just come into bloom and certainly coloured up my day in Gretton today.

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