What is a Christmas rose?


Quick Answer

The Christmas rose (Helleborus niger) is an herbaceous evergreen perennial native to Europe, where it grows wild in forests as well as in the Carpathian Mountains and the Alps. The plant blooms around Christmas in warmer climates, but the flowers are delayed until March or April in colder climates.

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Full Answer

In the United States, Christmas roses can be planted in gardens in zones 3 to 8. Christmas roses are suitable for planting in rich, well-drained soil, and they prefer partial to full shade. The plant reaches a height of 9 to 14 inches with a spread of up to 18 inches. As houseplants, Christmas roses should be kept in a cool room with partial sun.

The dark green foliage on a Christmas rose is waxy and leathery with a palmate shape. The cupped flowers have five white petal-like sepals surrounding a cluster of bright yellow stamens; these sepals gradually turn pink or purple as the flower ages.

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