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Herbaceous Perennial

Helleborus × sternii
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

Stern's hybrid hellebore

H. x sternii is an evergreen perennial, to 35cm, with purple, biennial stems bearing leaves with three green, pale-veined leaflets. Nodding, creamy-green flowers, suffused with pinkish-purple and 3-5cm in width, are borne in open clusters from late winter to mid-spring

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Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Purple Green Purple Green
Summer Purple Green
Autumn Purple Green
Winter Purple Green Purple Green
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or North–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H4
Botanical details
Family
Ranunculaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Clump forming
Potentially harmful
Ingestion may cause severe discomfort, skin irritant. Wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling
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

Name status

Correct

How to grow

Cultivation

Thrives in neutral to alkaline soils that are moist, fertile and humus-rich. Partial shade is ideal but can tolerate full sun. Provide shelter from strong, cold winds. Mulch annually in autumn. See hellebore cultivation

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown in pots in a cold frame as soon as seed is ripe, or by division in late spring after flowering

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Underplanting of roses and shrubs
  • Cut flowers
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Remove faded or damaged foliage as the flowers appear

Pests

May be affected by hellebore aphid and snails

Diseases

May be affected by hellebore black death, hellebore leaf spot and a virus

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