Here’s one perennial that actually sounds better in Latin….Stinking Hellebore is definitely one of those under-used garden gems that deserve a chance in any landscape. Its flowers are not like the better known Lenten Rose, theirs are smaller with less color. But, what is noticeable are the bright chartreuse bracts which contrast nicely with the deeply divided, darker foliage below. Growing to 30″ when in bloom, it can be seen from a good distance making an impact when planted in numbers. It will take a wide range of light conditions, but the more sun the better the show. It likes moist, rich soil but is also pretty drought tolerant! Plus, they’re deer resistant just like their cousin. So why the stinky name? It comes from the fragrance you get when the leaves are crushed, nothing to worry about unless you decide to experiment! It is good to know that they have a reputation for seeding around rather freely, eventually making a small colony. The seedlings are recognizable making them an easy target for pulling if you don’t want them to spread. You can also control them by dead-heading before they go to seed. However, don’t let this stop you from adding a few here and there! Combined with early bulbs like Galanthus (Snowdrops) and Crocus they’ll make anyone want to venture out early March and take a look.

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