Plant of the Month – February

February 9, 2022 by Cherry Lane

February’s Plant of the Month

By Rachael – Content Editor

Published February 2022

  Our plant of the month for February is hellebore or Helleborus. Hellebores originate in southern areas of Europe and flower very early in the year. Take caution when handling any species of Helleborus as they contain toxins that can cause skin irritation.
Are hellebores a type of rose? Despite having nicknames such as “Christmas Rose” or “Lenten Rose”, species of Helleborus are not at all related to roses. In fact, they are actually a part of the buttercup family.   Latin name: Helleborus Family: Buttercups Origin: Mountainous regions of Europe Characteristics: Evergreen foliage with flowers in green, white, pinks and purples Preferred neighbours: Spring flowering bulbs such as tulips and daffodils Top Tip: Water regularly when first planted, apply a mulch annually Fun fact: Hellebores are said to symbolise tranquillity and serenity   Are Hellebores easy to grow? When planted in moist soil with ample draining, in part shade, hellebores are easy to grow and will continue to bloom for a few years. When does Helleborus flower? Hellebores typically flower from later winter to early spring, perfect if you are looking for some garden blooms between January and April. Are Hellebores good for wildlife? Yes, Hellebores are good for pollinators. Although not all pollinators are active when Hellebores are in flower, their blooms are nectar-rich and produce large quantities of pollen.
Did you know? Hellebores can grow up to an impressive 120cm tall and 90cm wide. A little History… Helleborus has been used throughout history by herbalists and witches, through many different cultures. It has even been considered to be an elixir for eternal youth – but do not be fooled – it is incredibly toxic to humans and should not be ingested in any way, shape or form.
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