• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Helleborus × ericsmithii 'Winter Sunshine' (PBR)

hellebore 'Winter Sunshine'

  • Other common names hellebore 'Winter Sunshine'

  • Family Ranunculaceae

  • Genus Helleborus can be rhizomatous, herbaceous or semi-evergreen perennials forming a clump of pedate basal leaves, or evergreen with erect, leafy stems. Large, bowl-shaped flowers are borne in loose clusters in late winter or spring

  • Details 'Winter Sunshine' is a clump-forming, semi-evergreen herbaceous perennial, up to 45cm high, with glossy dark olive-green leaves with pewter-grey veins. The large flowers, appearing from late winter to early spring, have green centres and long creamy stamens, the petals opening creamy-white and becoming pinkish-red with age


  • Foliage Semi-evergreen

  • Habit Clump-forming

  • Toxicity Ingestion may cause severe discomfort

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)




  • Full Sun

  • Partial Shade

  • Aspect South-facing or West-facing or East-facing or North-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered


  • Loam


  • Chalk


  • Clay


  • MoistureMoist but well-drained

  • SoilLoam, Chalk, Clay

  • pHAlkaline, Neutral


  • Ultimate height 0.1-0.5 metres

  • Ultimate spread 0.5-1 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 2-5 years

How to grow

Cultivation Grow in fertile, moisture-retentive, humus-rich but well-drained soil which is preferably neutral or alkaline, in a position with shelter from strong, cold winds and in full sun or light dappled shade. Mulch every autumn with leaf mould, chipped bark or other organic matter; for more advice, see hellebore cultivation

Propagation Propagate by division of large clumps in early spring, watering well until they are established

Suggested planting locations and garden types Flower borders and beds Underplanting of Roses and Shrubs Ground Cover Banks and Slopes Patio & Container Plants Cottage & Informal Garden City & Courtyard Gardens

How to care

Pruning Remove old leaves to help prevent hellebore leaf spot, and deadhead by removing old faded flower stems

Pests May be affected by slugs, snails, hellebore aphid, hellebore leaf miner, chafers, vine weevil and mice

Diseases May be affected by hellebore black death, hellebore leaf spot, downy mildews, grey moulds (botrytis), smuts, and virus diseases

Did you find the information you were looking for?

RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team.

Join the RHS now

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.