Christmas Roses


Copyrighted to shelley Cormac, living with shadows blog. No use allowed without permission.

Copyrighted to shelley Cormac, living with shadows blog. No use allowed without permission.

I took these photos of Christmas Roses in my garden the other week and then forgot all about them! I wish I had got them a few days earlier when they were at their best but even begining to deteriorate they are still enchanting.  They are ctually closer related to Buttercups than to Roses. Officially named Hellebore but more commonly known as Christmas Roses because they bloom so close to Christmas. They may not be the most beautiful of flowers or have the most gorgeous scent but they bloom in a time of darkness; Their delicate white flowers adding light and hope for the coming spring.

In the Disney Film Mulan the Emperor says:   “The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.” Although he was taking about a girl the quote is certainly apt for this flower.

There are two marvelous tales about this flower..

It is said that a young shepherdess had no gift for the baby Jesus and she cried. An angel took pity on her and wiped away the snow before her feet and where her tears had fallen the angel brought forth christmas roses so she could pick them and give then as her gift.

http://www.novareinna.com/festive/rose.html

A mother of a child who was dying went out in a snow storm to get help when she saw a procession of misty Fae beings. The last in line was a child trying to keep up but stumbling on her dress. the mother overcame her fear to help the child tuck up her dress and the lady that was leading them stopped and saw her kindness.  she pointed at a spot on the ground and they all disappeared. christmas roses grew in that spot, she picked them and ran home with them for her daughter. Upon receiving the flowers the childs fever broke and she got well again.

http://www.northvegr.org/secondary%20sources/folklore%20and%20fairy%20tales/summer%20legends/021.html

Both used as a medicine and poison in ancient times. Believed to have been the poison that killed Alexander the Great and the medicine that cured the daughters of King Midas of their illness that had driven them mad.

it was used to predict the weather and it was used as a weapon of war.

http://gardenofeaden.blogspot.co.uk/2009/01/stories-myths-legends-and-folklore-of.html

http://www.helleborus.us/HistoryMythology.html

When I look at my little patch of flowers they remind me that beauty can grow from dark places; From the shadows can spring glorious pure light!

Copyrighted to shelley Cormac, living with shadows blog. No use allowed without permission.

Copyrighted to shelley Cormac, living with shadows blog. No use allowed without permission.

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30 thoughts on “Christmas Roses

    • that little patch of flowers is well over 20yrs old! They were already in the garden when we moved here and i replanted them nearer the front door so i could see them better each winter. Glad you liked them, they have faithfully bloomed each winter since. the wonder of nature, great mythology and light in the dark.

    • Hi B. Thanks for dropping by and leaving such a lovely comment for me. So glad you enoyed the photos and i’m thrilled to hear you’ve added them to your garden. something about next winter to look forward to!

  1. These are often my very favorite plant. I get very excited when I see my patch coming up each year. Thanks for sharing a moment at your patch.

    Spring is apparently coming to you sooner than to us. We call Hellebore Lenten Roses. They bloom around Easter time, as the snow is receding. Mine are white, like yours, and stand out, even against the snow. I think they are always at their best; the green calyxes continue to resemble flowers for most of the summer.

    I understand that these plants are easy to grow. Even though I have a green thumb, I planted Hellebore several times before I got one to grow.

    I didn’t realize that they are related to buttercups. I’ll keep that in mind when ours come up.

    • Hello and thanks for stopping by. yes i hear they are easy to grow but not for me either! when i split the patch up the replanted half died! i only have the one little patch in my garden but it makes me look forward to it’s yearly return. i am glad you enjoy them as much. we have had a wild windy and wet winter, record storms and terrible flooding down south but it hasn’t been freezing. only a smattering of snow that hasn’t laid and temperatures have not dipped much below freezing and not for any prolonged patches. bulbs are sprouting up in their tubs and i noticed just this morning how much green buds were appearing on the branches of the butterfly bush we didn’t get around to pruning last year! too late now! sigh!

      • I, too, often forget to prune back our butterfly bush. It usually gets lost in the weeds after it blooms.

        Our winter has been unsettling, too. It came early, with temperatures occasionally below 0 degrees Fahrenheit from several days in December, continuing to today. We got a foot or more of snow many days..at least we didn’t get the 10-foot snowfall that we got one winter a few years ago! We shovel all of our snow by hand…

        I guess you don’t have much skiing or snowshoeing where you live 😉 I hope you haven’t had flood damage, or that it has been minimal. We are at the top of a gravelly hill, so no flooding concerns here, but when an earthquake is within a few hundred miles, we sure do rattle!

        We planted 150 bulbs last Fall and look forward to the display. I can imagine your anticipation as you watch the buds emerge from the leaves. Enjoy!

        • 10ft snowfall! my hubby clears any snow but i am sure we haven’t seen 10ft total in 10 years! there are a couple of man made ski runs within a couple of hours drive but all the real slopes are in the highlands and i’ve never been on one. i’ve only once worn ski boots and that forward angle they place your leg shapr into had my in tears within 20mins, felt like my shin bone was trying to snap in half!

          our town has flood problems now and then but our home is well away from those areas and we have never seen devastation like thos down south have faced this winter. earthquakes here are minimal, a tiny shake and i’ve never felt one myself. i can’t imagine the fear.. and thrill of getting a good rattle! wow! i am sure your garden will be a sight to behold this spring, i hope you will take some photos!

  2. They’re lovely aren’t they, Shelley? We have them from darkest pink to very pale. I often cut some of the flower heads and float them in water in a crystal bowl on my hearth. They only last a few days but we have quite a lot 🙂

    • That would be a lovely way to display them! next year! i must try to find some pink ones one day! plants can be so pricey! I split my patch up a few years back but the replanted half died off. i must wait for this patch to recover and grow before i can try again, i wish i had them all over the place!

  3. Shelley, I had never heard of “Christmas Roses” but they are strikenly beautiful. I found the “stories” of them to be wonderfully engaging. Thanks for sharing both the pictures and the stories. Bill

    • Thanks Bill, Glad you liked them, i knew the story of the angel and the shepherdess but the other was new to me and i really enjoyed reading it. two very different origin stories, both based in kindness.

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