• 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 niger

Christmas rose

  • Other common names Christmas rose
    bear's foot

    black hellebore
    brumal rose
    Christmas plant
    Christopher's herb
    Christ's herb
    clove-tongue
    St Agnes' rose

    see more
  • 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 H. niger is a semi-evergreen perennial to 30cm, with pedately lobed, leathery, dark green leaves and 1-3 pure white or pink-flushed white, bowl-shaped flowers up to 8cm in width

  • Plant range Europe, SW Asia

Characteristics

  • 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)

    H7

Colour

Sunlight

  • Partial Shade

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

  • Exposure Sheltered

Soil

  • Clay

    Clay

  • Loam

    Loam

  • Chalk

    Chalk

  • MoistureMoist but well-drained

  • SoilClay, Loam, Chalk

  • pHAlkaline, Neutral

Size

  • Ultimate height 0.1-0.5 metres

  • Ultimate spread 0.1-0.5 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 2-5 years

How to grow

Cultivation Thrives in neutral to alkaline soils that are moist, fertile and humus-rich, ideal for heavy clay in partial shade. Provide shelter from strong, cold winds. Mulch annually in autumn

Propagation Propagate by seed in pots in a cold frame as soon as seed is ripe or propagate by division after flowering in early spring or late summer

Suggested planting locations and garden types Flower borders and beds Cut Flowers Underplanting of Roses and Shrubs Cottage & Informal Garden

How to care

Pruning Remove faded or damaged foliage as the flowers appear

Pests Prone to hellebore aphid and snails

Diseases May be affected by hellebore leaf spot and a virus

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