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Helleborus 'Royal Heritage'

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Kemper Code:  Y440

Common Name: hellebore
Zone: 4 to 9
Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Ranunculaceae
Missouri Native: No
Native Range: None
Height: 1.5 to 2 feet
Spread: 2 to 3 feet
Bloom Time: February - April   Bloom Data
Bloom Color: Purple, red, white,green, pink
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low

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Plant Culture and Characteristics

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  Uses:       Wildlife:   Flowers:   Leaves:   Fruit:
Hedge Suitable as annual Attracts birds Has showy flowers Leaves colorful Has showy fruit
Shade tree Culinary herb Attracts Has fragrant flowers Leaves fragrant Fruit edible
Street tree Vegetable   hummingbirds Flowers not showy Good fall color   Other:
Flowering tree Water garden plant Attracts Good cut flower Evergreen Winter interest
Gr. cover (<1') Will naturalize   butterflies Good dried flower     Thorns or spines

General Culture:

Easily grown in organically rich, humusy, alkaline, medium moisture, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Prefers light to moderate shade. Tolerant of summer heat and humidity. Cut back flowering stems after bloom to promote new foliage growth. Locate plants in areas protected from cold winter winds. These plants possess the unique ability to bloom in subfreezing winter temperatures, often when snow is on the ground. Although the foliage is evergreen, it may become scorched and tattered in extremely harsh winters, particularly if not protected from cold winter winds and/or insulated by snow cover.

Noteworthy Characteristics:

This hybrid hellebore strain most closely resembles H. orientalis. It is a collection of hybrids with a wide variety of flower colors including tones and combinations of purples, reds, near-blacks, whites, greens and pinks. Nodding, cup-shaped, rose-like flowers (to 2" diameter) with overlapping petals and center crowns of conspicuously contrasting yellow stamens appear in clusters (cymes) at the tips of leafy stems from early February through April. Bloom period can be longer in mild winters. These plants are bushy, clump-forming perennials that typically grow 18-24" tall with glossy, deeply-cut, dark green, evergreen leaves which are deeply lobed and divided into 7-10, narrow, lance-shaped to elliptic, usually-toothed segments. Leaves, stems and roots are poisonous. An introduction of Wayside Gardens of Hodges, South Carolina.


No serious insect or disease problems. Crown rot and leaf spot are occasional problems.


Flowers that bloom in February in St. Louis are true harbingers of spring. Locate plants near a kitchen window, patio or walkway so that the early bloom may be enjoyed to the fullest. Group in shady locations under trees, large shrubs or in woodland gardens. Mass for an attractive year round ground cover.

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2001-2011

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