Lenten rose Helleborus × hybridus 'Pretty Ellen White'

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
hellebore 'Pretty Ellen White'


The 'Pretty Ellen White' is a captivating variety of the widely appreciated hellebore, recognized for its striking white flowers. Its blossoms are large, saucer-shaped and are notable for their pure whiteness, lending an ethereal quality to the garden during its blooming season. An evergreen perennial, it showcases an array of dark, leathery leaves which provide a rich contrast and a perfect backdrop to the delicate and sophisticated blooms. Each flower typically presents a set of overlapping petals arranged in a radial pattern around a center cluster of yellowish, tube-like structures that add a subtle dash of color. The plant's elegant flowers emerge on sturdy stems, rising above the foliage and creating a lovely display. The overall effect of the 'Pretty Ellen White' is one of classic beauty and simplicity, making it a cherished choice for gardeners seeking to add a touch of serenity to their landscape.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Lenten Rose, Winter Rose, Christmas Rose

    • Common names

      Helleborus × hybridus 'Pretty Ellen White'

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Lenten rose, including the 'Pretty Ellen White' variety, contains toxic compounds that can be harmful if ingested. Symptoms of poisoning may include abdominal pain, cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea. In severe cases, it can lead to a slowed heart rate and nervous system complications. Skin contact with the sap may cause dermatitis in sensitive individuals.

    • To pets

      The Lenten rose is also toxic to pets, and ingestion can cause similar symptoms as in humans, such as drooling, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. In severe cases, it can lead to depression, weakness, and a slowed heart rate. It's important to prevent your pets from ingesting any part of this plant.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves

      Dark green

    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-1.5 feet (30-45 cm)

    • Spread

      1-1.5 feet (30-45 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Value: Helleborus × hybridus 'Pretty Ellen White', commonly known as Lenten Rose, has attractive white flowers that add aesthetic appeal to gardens.
    • Extended Blooming Season: Lenten Rose blooms in late winter to early spring, providing color when most other plants are dormant.
    • Shade Tolerance: This plant is well-suited for shaded areas where other sun-loving plants may struggle to thrive.
    • Drought Resistance: Once established, Lenten Rose can tolerate periods of drought, making it a low-maintenance choice for gardens.
    • Deer and Rabbit Resistance: The plant is less palatable to deer and rabbits, which helps to reduce damage by these animals.
    • Evergreen Foliage: Lenten Rose maintains its foliage throughout the year, contributing to the garden's winter interest.
    • Ground Cover Potential: With its bushy growth habit, Lenten Rose can serve as an effective ground cover, suppressing weeds and minimizing soil erosion.

  • 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

    • Photography Subject: The striking white blooms of the Lenten rose are often used as subjects in macro photography due to their intricate patterns and textures.
    • Winter Interest: In gardens with mild winters, Lenten rose can provide visual interest during a season when most other plants are dormant or not in bloom.
    • Educational Tool: The plant can be used in botany or horticulture programs to demonstrate hybridization and breeding techniques.
    • Cut Flowers: Despite its common use in gardens, Lenten rose can also be cut and used in floral arrangements, especially in winter and early spring weddings.
    • Container Gardening: It's suitable for container gardening where space is limited or in urban settings without traditional garden spaces.
    • Holiday Decoration: The blooms can be floated in bowls of water as a unique and elegant table centerpiece for winter holidays.
    • Species Conservation: The Lenten rose can be used in plant conservation efforts aimed at preserving hybrid vigor and diversity.
    • Artistic Inspiration: The form and color of Lenten rose blossoms make them a popular feature in botanical art and illustration.
    • Texture Contrast: In landscape design, the leathery leaves of the Lenten rose can provide textural contrast to finer foliage plants in mixed borders.
    • Companion Planting: Lenten rose can be used in companion planting to complement early spring bulbs, as it blooms at the same time and can provide an attractive backdrop.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Lenten Rose is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Lenten Rose is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Healing: Hellebores, also known as Lenten roses, have been used in traditional medicine, representing the ability to heal physical and emotional ailments.
    • Protection: The Lenten rose is thought to have protective qualities, often planted near homes to ward off evil spirits or negative influences.
    • Serenity: With its delicate white blooms, the 'Pretty Ellen White' variety of Lenten rose symbolizes tranquility and peace.
    • Triumph over adversity: Blooming in the late winter or early spring, often while snow is still on the ground, Lenten roses embody resilience and the overcoming of difficulties.
    • Hope: As one of the first flowers to bloom at the end of winter, the Lenten rose signifies hope and the anticipation of new beginnings.

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

    Lenten Rose prefers even moisture, so it should be watered thoroughly whenever the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Depending on weather conditions, this might mean watering once or twice a week. It's important to avoid overhead watering to prevent disease, so water at the base of the plant. Use approximately 1 gallon per plant for each watering session, ensuring it reaches the root zone to encourage deep root growth without leaving the plant waterlogged.

  • sunLight

    Lenten Rose thrives in partial to full shade, making it an excellent choice for a shady garden spot. It can tolerate some morning sun but should be protected from harsh afternoon rays to prevent scorching. The best spot for this plant is in dappled sunlight under the canopy of deciduous trees or on the north side of a building.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Lenten Rose is a hardy perennial that can withstand temperatures as low as 5°F and as high as 80°F, making it suitable for many climates. However, it prefers cooler conditions and the ideal growing temperatures range between 40°F and 60°F. It's crucial to protect the plant from extreme heat and cold to ensure its health and flowering capabilities.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune Lenten Rose to remove damaged or diseased foliage, and to promote vigorous growth and good air circulation. Pruning is best done in late winter or early spring before new growth starts. Cut back the previous year's foliage to ground level only if it has become unsightly; otherwise, minimal pruning is required. Removing spent flowers after blooming encourages the plant to produce more blooms.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Lenten Rose thrives in a soil mix that is well-draining with organic matter, such as a combination of loam, peat moss, and perlite. The soil pH should be neutral to slightly alkaline, ranging from 7.0 to 8.0 for optimal growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Lenten Roses are typically long-lived perennials that do not need frequent repotting. They should be repotted only if they outgrow their container, approximately every 3 to 4 years.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Lenten Rose prefers moderate humidity levels but is quite adaptable and can tolerate the humidity levels typically found in many outdoor environments.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light and keep soil moist.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in partial shade, shelter from harsh winds.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-9 USDA.

  • circleLife cycle

    The life of Lenten Rose 'Pretty Ellen White' begins with seed germination, typically in spring or early summer, after experiencing a period of stratification which simulates winter conditions. Seedlings will develop true leaves and slowly establish a root system throughout their first growing season. The plant enters a vegetative state where foliage expands, creating a rosette of dark green leaves; during this time, the plant grows slowly but steadily as it prepares for future flowering. After a few years, once the plant is mature enough, it will produce its first flowers in late winter to early spring, often blooming when snow is still possible. Following pollination, seed pods will develop and eventually open to release seeds, which continues the reproductive cycle. The plant then enters a period of dormancy during the summer months before reemerging in the fall, ready for the next cycle of growth and bloom.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • The most popular method of propagating Helleborus × hybridus 'Pretty Ellen White', commonly known as the Lenten Rose, is by division. This is usually done in late summer to early fall, after the plant has finished flowering but while the soil is still warm, which helps the divisions to establish their roots more effectively. To propagate by division, carefully dig up the entire plant, making sure to keep a good amount of soil around the roots. Gently separate the clumps into smaller sections, ensuring that each new division has at least two or three growth points for successful regrowth. Replant the divisions immediately at the same soil depth as the original plant and water them in well. This method allows gardeners to quickly increase their stock of Lenten Roses while preserving the characteristics of the parent plant.