Christmas Rose (Lo, How a Rose E'er blooming)


helleborus niger
Christmas rose, or Helleborus niger, was hidden at the bottom of my last blog and didn't get just attention. Christmas rose is often cited as the actual "rose" that inspired the German Christmas carol 'Es ist ein Ros entsprungen' or translated into the English Christmas song ' Lo How a Rose E'er Blooming.'  Whether or not it is the actual flower mentioned in the song, it doesn't take a horticulturist to tell you that there is not much blooming outside the Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory these days at Denver Botanic Gardens.  Helleborus however are one genus that brighten the coldest and shortest days of the year.  While most species and hybrids wait until at least February to bloom in Denver, certain clones and strains of Helleborus niger can start as early as Thanksgiving some years. The particular clone in the photo above always blooms a good month before its fellow members elsewhere in the Gardens.


Ellen Hertzman
Where do we go to find this little bloom, Mike?
Mike Kintgen
Northside of the Limestone cliffs of the Rock Alpine Garden, next to the man hole cover near the edge of the stream. Of course right now it is under the snow again.

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