The Orientalis Hybrids, also now increasingly known as Helleborus x hybridus, are a large group of cultivars and seed strains and these are the plants most often seen in gardens. They are derived from the Lenten rose, H. orientalis, crossed any of the species in the same botanical group. Species which can hybridise with H. orientalis and whose collective offspring come under this name are: Helleborus atrorubens, H. cyclophyllus, H. dumetorum, H. multifidus, H. odorus, H. purpurascens, H. torquatus, and H. viridis. Botanically, these hybrids have recently been classified as Helleborus hybridus. These names also cover hybrids between the different subspecies of H. orientalis.

It is in this group that all the named Lenten roses, double and single, fall along with all the seed strains which are now so widely available. Almost all plants of this type are of hybrid origin, not just the more unusual colours like yellows and "blacks", and so come into this group.

There is an extensive descriptive list in our book and eventually an expanded version of this list will be available here on

Words ©Graham Rice or © Graham Rice/Elizabeth Strangman 1993-2001. Pictures ©Graham Rice/ unless stated. All Rights Reserved.