purple-flowered Christmas rose
A compact, clump forming, deciduous perennial up to 25-30cm high. The distinctive green leaves are hairy when young, each of the leaflets separates from the top of the leaf stalk almost at one point. The first rich purple or pinkish purple flowers start opening at ground level in December and it will continue to flower until March.
Ultimate height0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height2–5 years
Ultimate spread0.1–0.5 metres
MoistureMoist but well–drained
Colour & scent
- Full sun
- Partial shade
East–facing or West–facing or South–facing
- Native to the UK
- Clump forming
- Potentially harmful
- Ingestion may cause severe discomfort, skin irritant. Wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling.
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
- Name status
- Plant range
- EC Europe
How to grow
Grown in moisture retentive neural to alkaline soil that is not prone to drying out. Best planted in a sunny position or light shade. Improve lighter soil with organic matter such as garden compost or a manure-based soil conditioner prior to planting. Mulch annually in spring. For more details, see hellebore cultivation.
Suggested planting locations and garden types
- Cottage and informal garden
- Flower borders and beds
- Cut flowers
- Underplanting of roses and shrubs
Remove faded leaves in late summer/autumn.
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.