About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Why are they called Lenten Roses?

Early Riser in the Garden

Lenten Roses announce the arrival of spring with their nodding green flowers, some with pink tinges.

Native to much of Europe, the Lenten Rose (Hellebore) has evergreen foliage with beautiful winter or early spring blossoms. The flower colors are provided by sepals, structures that resemble petals. The actual flowers are inconspicuous but the sepals remain months after pollination has occurred.

The common name Lenten is because some varieties bloom during Lent. Even the snow we had recently didn't deter the blooming.

The name hellebore comes from the Greek “elein” meaning to injure, and “bora” meaning food. This species and the other members of this genus Helleborus are highly toxic.

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