This beautiful flower starts blooming about February in Roanoke, VA (Plant Zone 7) when the ground is still frozen. The Lenten rose is present during Lent, hence its name. This evergreen plant is in the Helleboros genus, and like most Helleboros grows best in a shade garden. It is resistant to both deer and voles, long-lived, and provides exquisite blooms at a time when flowers are a scarce delight.
Once established Lenten rose is drought tolerant but grow best when the soil is evenly moist. Water well during extended dry periods. I have mine on a soaker hose with a timer during the summer. Lenten rose flowers are creamy yellow as the one above or a dark magenta color.
In orthodox churches, Lent is the 40 days before Easter. Lent is a time of reflection and repentance; therefore, tends to be a solemn time for Christians. My church has a Wednesday noontime service as well as a Sunday service and Wednesday evening service. When we walk into the church on Wednesday noon, seeing the blooming Lenten rose makes me smile and tends to calm me.
Copyright: March 13, 2016, Carolyn A. Roth