On Feb. 1 our Lenten Rose was in full bloom. What a beautiful, wonderful plant.
Several years ago, Nancy was trying to figure out what to do with the root-studded and mostly-shady space beneath our old maple tree in the back yard. She planted a few hostas and they did well, but she wanted some color and could find few colorful plants that could bloom without a lot of sun.
My son, Jimmie, who had worked for Hines Nursery, suggested Lenten Rose. He brought us some, we planted them among the hostas and they really took off. In fact, if you’re not careful, they will take over. We have shared from our bounty of excess Lenten Rose with others as we try to keep the plants under control.
Lenten Rose is a perennial flowering plant in the buttercup family. It is native to Greece and Turkey. Since it blooms during and throughout the Lenten Season, it was thus named.
The plant typically grows to about a foot and a half with evergreen leaves. The cup-shaped flowers appear in late winter. All parts of Lenten Rose are poisonous, which discourages deer.
The plant was very popular back in the 19th century, but then fell out of favor, likely because of its dominating tendencies. The plant was given new favor in the 1960’s as horticulturist, Helen Ballard, bred and promoted the lovely plant. Cultivated varieties of Lenten Rose include white, green, pink, maroon, purple and spotted flowers. Our are pink and white.
Lenten Rose is available at most garden centers. If you would like a plant that flowers in winter, give this one a try.