Helleborus are a brilliant choice for part or full shade areas of the garden, bringing a much-needed beautiful hit of colour during late winter and early spring. Their flowers also provide a much-needed source of food for pollinating insects at a time of the year when nectar and pollen are in relatively short supply. Hellebore ‘Ivory Prince’ is a lovely variety to get growing.

The problem with many helleborus is that their flowers ‘hang their heads’ downwards. This can make it impossible to see many of the beautiful markings and colours contained within the petals. To see them, cup the flower upwards with your hand.

The good news is that clever hybridising has now resulted in some varieties that are not only compact, upright and vigorous, but also produce flat, outward facing flowers. Therefore, enabling the colourful markings inside the petals to be easily seen and appreciated.

‘Ivory Prince’ is a great example. It’s an evergreen variety with silver veined leaves and reddish flower stems and produces lots of flowers for months on end. From pale red buds, flowers bloom from late winter to early spring. The flowers start off a pretty, creamy white colour many of which develop pretty shades of pink as they mature. Once established, the plant should start to self-seed, ultimately resulting in swathes of these long flowering evergreen beauties.

What’s in a name?

Although the common name is ‘Christmas rose’, this plant isn’t part of the rose family. In fact, it’s part of the buttercup family.

It’s believed that the common name comes from the story of a young girl who was too poor to give a gift to the new baby Jesus. The girl cried as she had no gift to give, and the Helleborus niger sprouted from her tears.

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Helleborus (Christmas rose) ‘Ivory Prince’

  • Flowers January to April
  • Hardy
  • Grows to 45cm tall and 60cm wide
  • Fertile, moisture retentive well-drained soil
  • Part or full shade
  • Sheltered

Not only are they easy to grow, but hellebores will add a burst of colour to shaded spots in the garden, transforming the space into a wonderful woodland setting. Hellebore ‘Ivory Prince’ is not one to miss, with its stunning flowers.

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