A Royal Blossom

Royal Heritage Hellebore at Olbrich Botanical Garden in Madison Wisconsin

Royal Heritage Hellebore © 2011 Bo Mackison

I wasn’t familiar with this plant when I saw it in the perennial gardens at Olbrich Botanical Gardens, but it is the Royal Heritage Hellebore, a handsome plant, very bushy, about eighteen inches high. This flower has many shades of a rosy pink, but the plants’ colors range from a green tinged white to a nearly black-red.

I did a bit of research — seems this plant is also called the Lenten Rose in the northern states and the Christmas Rose in the warmer states. It’s an early bloomer, and often blooms in late December or January in the southern tier of states, regions that get winter rains, not snow. In colder areas, the Hellebore blooms several months later, often in March or April or during the Lenten season.

This year, due to our late-blooming season, the Hellebore bloomed well after Lent, sporting think clumps of flowers in late April and much of May. Since the flowers are long-lasting and early bloomers, I’m surprised this plant isn’t seen in more gardens. I have an open space in my perennial garden–might just give this beauty a try.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and the owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She is thankful that the spring flowers are in full bloom in Madison.


About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. That’s a gorgeous flower. I’d say it deserves its rather regal name.

  2. Beautiful flower captured in your lens. The colors are so beautifully captured. My words don’t express how amazing this shot is to me! Rich in color, detail, and beauty.

  3. Stacey Dawn says:

    That flower is one of my new favorites this year, too!

  4. The hellebore is definitely one of my garden favorites because its subtle flowers require observation. I am particularly drawn to green flowers on the green plant – uber subtle. Beautiful image.

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