19 of the Prettiest Hellebore Varieties to Grow for Cold-Season Color

These stunning hellebore varieties will brighten up your winter and spring landscape with their colorful flowers.

Variety of Hellebores

Carson Downing

Hellebores' graceful flowers announce spring before the season has even started. The early season bloom time of the plants, particularly the showy type known as Lenten roses, makes them a favorite of gardeners. So do their delicate, cup-shaped flowers, which pair well with other early bloomers, such as grape hyacinths and Virginia bluebells. In recent years, plant breeders have responded to increased demand from home gardeners by producing ever-more-interesting hellebore hybrids and varieties. Here are some of the most stunning hellebores to grow in your garden.

The leaves, stems, and roots of hellebore contain toxic chemicals, so keep it away from pets and small children.

01 of 19

'Amber Gem'

Amber Gem Hellebore

Carson Downing

A blushing beauty in the Winter Jewels series, this double hellebore variety has large, petal-packed flowers. Its unusual apricot tone with red accents looks especially romantic. The plant grows about a foot tall.

02 of 19

'Black Diamond'

Black Diamond Hellebore

Carson Downing

Another member of the Winter Jewels series, this hellebore variety lends a moody beauty to flower beds with its deep purple (nearly black) petals. The plant reaches 15-18 inches tall.

03 of 19

'Confetti Cake'

Confetti Cake Hellebore

Carson Downing

Part of the Wedding Party series of hellebores, this aptly named variety looks especially celebratory with its frothy, white, double flowers that have confetti-like burgundy speckles. The plants can reach 2 feet tall.

04 of 19

'Cotton Candy'

Cotton Candy Hellebore

Carson Downing

Clouds of pink speckled flowers top bright green foliage on this hellebore variety. Like other members of the Winter Jewels series, 'Cotton Candy' is a gorgeous confection of a plant with very large, double flowers.

05 of 19

'Fluffy Ruffles'

Fluffy Ruffles Hellebore

Carson Downing

This mix of hellebore varieties includes plants with huge double flowers in shades of pink, purple, yellow, white, and green. The plants grow 18-22 inches tall.

06 of 19

'Golden Lotus'

Golden Lotus Hellebore

Carson Downing

This hellebore variety is part of the Winter Jewels series and features an abundance of yellow petals on double flowers that can reach up to 3 inches wide. The plant grows to about 12-15 inches tall.

07 of 19

'Ice Follies'

Ice Follies Hellebore

Carson Downing

This type of hellebore is a mega-bloomer, with up to 100 flowers on each plant, which reach up to 14 inches tall. Part of the Winter Thriller series, flowers on this hellebore variety go from cream to light yellow, with attractive red spots and veins.

08 of 19

'Ice n' Roses'

Ice n Roses Hellebore

Carson Downing

A cross between two different types of hellebores (a Lenten rose and a snow rose), this plant has flowers that face outward and upward rather than nodding downward the way most hellebores do. The flowers also shine in the winter landscape for several weeks, landing this variety a spot on the BHG Test Garden's Top 25 list. It's available in pink, red, and white. Plants grow 1-2 feet tall and wide.

09 of 19

'Kingston Cardinal'

Kingston Cardinal Hellebore

Carson Downing

Both the mauve color and the frilly double flowers make this a particularly sophisticated hellebore variety. It also features mid- to dark-green toothed leaves and grows about 2 feet tall.

10 of 19

'Mango Magic'

Mango Magic Hellebore

Carson Downing

This unusual hellebore from the Winter Thriller series goes from mango yellow to apricot orange, with pink speckles and veining. It grows up to 18 inches tall.

11 of 19

'New York Night'

new york night hellebore flower close up
Walters Gardens, Inc.

Cream-colored stamens pop against the dark petals, which range from purple-gray to midnight. Part of the Honeymoon series, the plant tops out at 18-24 inches tall.

12 of 19

'Night Coaster'

Night Coaster Hellebore

Kim Cornelison

The matte petals of this Winter Thriller variety mature from dark purple to black, and hold onto their color longer than many other hellebores. Flowers can be as large as 3 inches on plants up to 22 inches tall.

13 of 19

'Peppermint Ruffles'

Peppermint Ruffles Hellebore

Kim Cornelison

The magenta-and-white flowers of this fully double variety from the Winter Thrillers series have a painterly beauty—plus each plant pumps out an impressive number of blooms. The plant grows 12-24 inches tall.

14 of 19

'Pink Fizz'

Pink Fizz Hellebore

Carson Downing

It pays to look closely at this Winter Thrillers hellebore variety's petals; intricate pink veining, speckles, and edging makes each flower unique. The flower shown here is just opening, but when fully open, the flowers can reach 3 inches across.

15 of 19

'Pink Frost'

Pink Frost Hellebore

Justin Hancock

The rosy, upward-facing petals aren't the only thing that's striking on this hellebore from the Gold Collection; so too are the plants' silvery foliage and red stems. The plant grows to 12-24 inches tall.

16 of 19

'Sweetheart Ruffles'

Sweetheart Ruffles Hellebore

Kim Cornelison

Especially frilly double flowers in velvety shades of red and purple cover this prolific bloomer (up to 50 per plant). Expect plants to grow to 18-20 inches tall.

17 of 19

'Rio Carnival'

Rio Carnival Hellebore

Carson Downing

Festive burgundy speckles decorate the single pale yellow petals on this robust hellebore variety from the Honeymoon series. Plants grow 18-24 inches in height.

18 of 19

'Shotgun Wedding'

Shotgun Wedding Hellebore

Carson Downing

Plant this hellebore variety, which is part of the Wedding Party series, on a hillside to best admire the burgundy speckles on its nodding double flowers. Plants reach 18-24 inches tall.

19 of 19

'Sunshine Ruffles'

Sunshine Ruffles Hellebore

Kim Cornelison

Here comes the sun: From the Winter Thrillers series, this variety features cheerful yellow petals edged in pink—just what you need at the end of a long winter. The plant grows 18-22 inches tall.

Hellebore Planting and Care

Hellebores thrive in dappled shade, need little water, and go almost entirely unnoticed by deer. Plant in an area with well-drained soil, and then water about once a week (mature hellebores don’t need much water beyond natural rainfall). In late winter or early spring, before the plants bloom, snip off the previous year’s foliage at soil level to show off emerging flowers.

Want more hellebores in your garden? The plants often reseed themselves. In late summer, look for seedlings around the skirts of plants. These tiny plants can be left to grow in place, or can be transplanted them to another area. Seedlings bloom in about three years. The plants are hardy in Zones 4–9.

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