Helleborus niger - Christmas rose (black hellebore)

Christmas rose lifts its large, chalk white flowers above the foliage early in spring, as soon as the snow has melted. Over time the flowers develop a green hue. They often have reddish colouring on the back of the petals. The thick, pedate, dark green leaves grow only after blossoming and persist well into winter.

Christmas rose is a traditional ornamental, cultivated in Europe since the 16th century. It reached the Finnish florists at the beginning of this century, and soon it could be found on the shelves of every supermarket. Although sold for Christmas, it is worth trying to keep the plant alive until it can be transplanted outdoors. Nowadays Christmas roses are also available in spring from nurseries.

Christmas rose has been growing in Mustila for a long time. It is fully adapted to the herb-rich light pine forest around Atsalearinne (Azalea Slope) where it self seeds just like common anemone (Anemone hepatica).