Hellebore Helleborus × sternii Blackthorn Group

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
hellebore Blackthorn Group


The Hellebore is an eye-catching perennial with distinctive foliage and blooms. The leaves are deeply lobed, taking on a leathery texture, and display a unique blue-green hue that sometimes bears a hint of purple or gray. These leaves create a robust backdrop for the flowers, which exhibit a remarkable display of color. The blooms themselves have a saucer shape and can range from pale green to dusky pink, sometimes with reddish-pink edges, giving them a dynamic and variable appearance. The petals, while initially appearing understated and refined, often become suffused with deeper shades as they mature. The center of each flower is accented by a group of yellow stamens that add an additional layer of contrast and intrigue to the overall floral display. During their blooming period, the flowers cluster atop the foliage, creating a captivating visual as they rise above the characteristic leaves. The combination of the unique foliage and the striking blooms makes the Hellebore a beloved plant for garden enthusiasts seeking to inject a touch of elegance and interest into their garden tapestry.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      Blackthorn Group Hellebore, Stern's Hellebore.

    • Common names

      Helleborus × sternii Blackthorn Group

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Hellebore, including Helleborus × sternii Blackthorn Group, is known to be toxic when ingested. All parts of the plant contain compounds that can cause harm to humans. If someone ingests any part of a hellebore plant, they may experience symptoms such as burning of the mouth and throat, salivation, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrheal episodes, and sometimes bloody diarrhea. In severe cases, it can lead to dizziness, tremors, and cardiac issues, which can be serious. Medical attention should be sought if ingestion occurs.

    • To pets

      Hellebore, including Helleborus × sternii Blackthorn Group, is also toxic to pets. Ingestion of any part of the plant can lead to symptoms similar to those in humans. These may include drooling, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, which may be bloody. In severe cases, ingesting hellebore can cause depression, weakness, and even cardiac complications. If you suspect your pet has ingested hellebore, it is important to seek immediate veterinary care.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Spread

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental appeal: Helleborus × sternii Blackthorn Group boasts attractive foliage and blooms, enhancing garden aesthetics.
    • Long flowering period: This plant offers an extended blooming season, often from late winter through spring, providing color when few other plants flower.
    • Drought tolerance: Once established, it is generally drought-resistant, requiring less water and maintenance.
    • Shade tolerance: It thrives in partial to full shade, making it ideal for woodland gardens or shaded areas.
    • Deer and rabbit resistance: It is less palatable to deer and rabbits, which helps prevent browsing damage in the garden.
    • Pest and disease resistance: The plant is relatively resistant to many common pests and diseases, ensuring lower maintenance.
    • Suitable for containers: It can be grown in pots or containers, offering flexibility in garden design and space utilization.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Hellebore, as a Helleborus × sternii Blackthorn Group, is often used in winter gardens for its ability to bloom in cold weather, offering color when most other plants are dormant.
    • The contrasting deep green foliage and light-colored flowers can be used in moon gardens, which are designed to be enjoyed in the twilight hours.
    • Hellebore is suitable for underplanting deciduous trees, taking advantage of the light available before the canopy fills in.
    • Their unique and intricate flowers can be used for photography subjects, teaching botanical anatomy, or studies of pollination mechanisms.
    • Incorporated in floral arrangements, hellebore flowers can provide an elegant and long-lasting display due to their sturdy nature.
    • As a testament to their durability, hellebores are sometimes used in educational settings such as schools or botanical gardens for demonstrations and hands-on gardening activities.
    • Some gardeners collect and breed hellebores to achieve new hybrids, focusing on flower color, form, or plant robustness as a hobby.
    • These plants are useful in landscape design for maintaining year-round interest due to their evergreen foliage and late winter blooms.
    • Hellebores can be used as a ground cover in shaded woodland gardens, preventing soil erosion due to their extensive root systems.
    • Dried hellebore flowers have been used for ornamental purposes in crafts, such as natural wreaths or dried floral arrangements.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Hellebore is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Hellebore is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Resilience and Survival: Hellebore is known for its hardiness and ability to survive in harsh winter conditions, symbolizing a person's ability to endure difficult situations.
    • Protection: Historically, hellebores were thought to have protective qualities, often used to ward off evil spirits and negative influences.
    • Triumph over Adversity: Blooming in the snow, hellebores represent the ability to triumph over adversity and conquering obstacles.
    • Hope: With its early flowering, often when snow is still on the ground, hellebores symbolize hope and the promise of better things to come.
    • Healing and Health: Since hellebores were used in ancient medicine, they have come to symbolize healing and the restoration of health.

Every 1-2 weeks
500 - 2500 Lux
Every 2-3 years
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Hellebores, including Helleborus × sternii Blackthorn Group, prefer evenly moist soil, especially during their growing season in spring and fall. Water them deeply once a week, providing about 1 to 1.5 gallons per plant, but this can vary depending on soil type and climate. During hot, dry periods, you may need to water Hellebores twice a week to prevent the soil from drying out completely. In the winter, reduce watering since the plant requires less moisture. Always check the top inch of the soil before watering; if it feels dry, it's time to water.

  • sunLight

    The Lenten rose thrives in partial shade to full shade conditions, making it an excellent choice for shaded gardens where few other plants can grow robustly. A spot under deciduous trees is ideal, as it provides filtered sunlight in spring and more shade when the trees are in full leaf during the hotter summer months. Avoid placing Lenten roses in areas with intense, direct sunlight to prevent scorching their foliage.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Lenten roses are hardy and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures; they can survive winter lows down to around 5°F and summer highs of up to 80°F, making them suitable for various climates. The ideal temperature range for the Lenten rose is between 35°F and 60°F, which encourages optimal growth and flowering. They can endure brief periods of colder temperatures but benefit from mulch for added insulation against extreme cold snaps.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune Lenten roses in late winter or early spring before new growth begins to remove old, damaged, or diseased leaves and improve air circulation. This also gives the plant a cleaner look and promotes healthier blooms. Cut back the foliage to the base using clean, sharp pruners. There's no need for frequent pruning; once a year is enough unless you notice damaged leaves that need to be removed sooner.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Hellebore, commonly known as Lenten Rose, thrives in well-draining soil rich in organic matter with a pH ranging from neutral to slightly alkaline, roughly 7.0-7.5. A good mix would involve equal parts of loamy garden soil, compost, and leaf mold or pine fines to ensure adequate aeration and nutrition.

  • plantRepotting

    Lenten Roses rarely need repotting as they are long-lived perennials that prefer not to be disturbed. Repotting every 3 to 4 years or when the plant outgrows its container is sufficient.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Hellebores, or Lenten Roses, are well-adapted to average outdoor humidity levels and do not require especially high humidity. They thrive in conditions that mimic their natural woodland habitat, which generally includes ambient humidity.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light and keep soil consistently moist.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in partial shade, sheltered from intense sun and wind.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Helleborus × sternii Blackthorn Group, commonly known as the Blackthorn hellebore, begins its life as a seed, which requires a period of cold stratification to germinate successfully. Upon sprouting, the seedling establishes a root system and grows its first set of true leaves, entering the juvenile vegetative stage. As it matures, the plant develops a clump of leathery, evergreen leaves and eventually reaches the flowering maturity stage, which occurs in late winter to early spring. During this time, the plant produces its characteristic nodding flowers, which can range from green to pink or purple, often with a patterned interior. After pollination, typically by insects, the flowers give way to seed capsules, which, when ripe, split open to release seeds for dispersal. The plant then enters a period of dormancy in the summer before resuming growth in the cooler months, continuing its perennial cycle.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time


    • For the Helleborus × sternii Blackthorn Group, which is commonly known as Lenten rose, the most popular method of propagation is division. This is typically carried out in late winter to early spring, just as the plant is emerging from dormancy and before it has started its rapid spring growth. To propagate through division, carefully dig around the plant to lift it from the ground, ensuring minimal disturbance to the root system. Once lifted, use a sharp knife or spade to divide the plant into smaller clumps, each with at least two or three growth points. These divisions should then be replanted at the same depth they were originally growing, spaced approximately 18 inches (45 centimeters) apart to allow enough room for growth. Water the new divisions thoroughly after planting to help establish them in their new locations.