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Helleborus Hybridus Harvington Smokey Blues

Lenten rose hellebore Helleborus ? hybridus ‘Harvington Smokey Blues’
Position: partial shade
Soil: heavy neutral to alkaline soil including heavy soil
Rate of growth: average
Flowering period: February to April
Hardiness: borderline hardy (may need winter protection)

Nodding or outward-facing double deep purple-black flowers open in February and last for up to three months. The handsome evergreen foliage is leathery deeply cut and dark green. This is a new variety of lenten rose and the unusual purple-black flowers have a dark blue sheen and creamy-yellow centres. They look stunning contrasted with snowdrops. To appreciate their colour they are best planted in groups at the front of a partially shady mixed border ideally where they can be seen through windows in winter or as a ground cover plant for areas of dappled shade under deciduous trees and shrubs. In former times hellebores were planted close to cottage doors to prevent evil spirits from crossing the threshold.