April 24, 2017

The Christmas Rose

Hellebore ‘Ivory Prince’

Janine Pineo Photo | Hellebore ‘Ivory Prince’

The mythical hellebore gets an elegant nod with Helleborus ‘Walhelivor,’ commonly known as ‘Ivory Prince.’ Called the Christmas rose for its late winter bloom time, this plant has cream and pink flowers that appear when most other plants are still dormant. According the Missouri Botanical Garden, “It was selected in 1995 in Sussex, England from a controlled breeding program designed to produce new helleborus plants that exhibited vigorous growth, upright form and flatness of flowers.” Hardy to Zone 3, it should grow in all of Maine’s zones, although its bloom time is likely to be toward the very end of winter into early spring here. The plant can reach 18 inches in height and sport flowers that are 2-3 inches wide held above glossy, leathery green leaves. And in case you were wondering, the leaves, stem and roots are poisonous.