Lenten rose

Among the first flowers to bloom here in New Hampshire, the hellebore is a favorite of mine (thanks for the plants, Linda!)  Helleborus Orientalis is the botanical name of this early blooming perennial.  In the English-speaking world they are known as the Lenten Rose but are not roses at all – they are actually from the buttercup family.  Their flowers bloom during the Easter celebration of Lent, leading the springtime procession of color in the shady areas of gardens.

The beautiful nodding, bell-shaped flowers come in shades of purple, white and green.  Helleborus niger, which is white, is commonly called the Christmas rose, due to an old legend that it sprouted in the snow from the tears of a young girl who had no gift to give the Christ child in Bethlehem.

A poisonous plant, there is much folklore tied to its history.  Though most of the stories and properties apply to all the species in the genus, the Helleborus niger has a unique property making it very popular with busy people who need a few undisturbed moments.  Spread the powdered root onto the floor and when you step on the powder you become invisible.

I personally have not tried this.

Happy Easter!


One response to “Lenten rose

  1. And a belated Happy Easter to you too Paige.
    I’m doing some catch-up on your blog, and again realize your knowledge of flowers & plants is ….extensive. You are some kinda ‘green thumb’ lady!
    Nice shots too. Hand-held or tripod?

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