Helleborus niger ‘Josef Lemper’

(Christmas Rose)


Hardiness Zones:

 4a  4b  5a  5b  6a  6b  7a  7b  8a  8b

Quick Overview:

Helleborus niger, commonly called Christmas rose, is a winter-blooming evergreen perennial which blooms around Christmas time in warm winter regions, but later (February or March) in the cold northern parts of the growing range. Bloom time can vary considerably based upon the degree of severity of the winter climate. It is native to alpine areas and open woodlands in southern and central Europe. This plant typically grows to 8-15" tall and features large, cup-shaped, rose-like white flowers (to 3" diameter) with crowns of conspicuously contrasting yellow stamens. Each flower has five large and showy petal-like sepals (petals are quite small and inconspicuous). Flowers usually appear singly on thick stems which usually do not rise above the foliage. This is an acaulescent species (without stems) which produces only basal leaves, each being palmate, deeply-lobed, somewhat waxy, and dark green with 7-9 leaflets. In the St. Louis area, leaves remain evergreen in moderate winters, but may become somewhat tattered in extremely cold winter areas where temperatures dip below zero, particularly if foliage is not protected by snow cover. Flowers sometimes bloom in the snow and bloom can survive spurts of sub-zero temperatures.

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Best grown in organically rich, humusy, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Locate plants in areas protected from cold winter winds. Plants usually take several years to establish. Clumps may be divided for propagation, but clumps never require division and will form and grow best when left undisturbed. Plants may self seed sparingly in optimum growing conditions.

Additional information

Common Name

Christmas Rose

Botanical Name

Helleborus niger 'Josef Lemper'


1 gallon

Evergreen or Deciduous


Hardiness Zone

4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b

Growth Rate


Light Requirements

Part-shade, Part-sun, Sun


1 to 1.5 ft.


2 ft.

Soil Condition


Water Needs


Blooming Period

Early winter to early spring

Flower Color




Foliage Color

dark green

Deer Resistant


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