A new Plant of Merit Introduction for 2011 — and one of the earliest bloomers for spring (I’ve personally seen blooms the end of February). Helleborus ‘Walhelivor’ is commonly sold in commerce by the trade name of Ivory Prince.
It was selected in 1995 in Sussex, England, from a controlled breeding program designed to produce new Helleborus sp. plants that exhibited vigorous growth, upright form and flatness of flowers. It is a bushy, clump-forming perennial that typically grows to 12 to 18 inches tall. It is noted for its burgundy-pink flower buds, its late winter bloom of creamy white flowers and its glossy, leathery, evergreen, medium-green leaves. Outward-facing, cup-shaped, creamy white flowers (to 2 to 3 inches in diameter) with overlapping petals bloom atop reddish stems from late winter to midspring (March to May in St. Louis). Flowers acquire pink tones with age. Leaves, stems and roots are poisonous.
Easily grown in organically rich, humusy, slightly alkaline, medium moisture, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Prefers light to moderate shade. Although the foliage is evergreen, it may become scorched and tattered in extremely harsh winters, particularly if not sited in locations protected from cold winter winds or insulated by snow cover. Cut back flowering stems after bloom to promote new foliage growth. This patented hybrid is reportedly sterile.
Common Name: Christmas rose
Botanical Name: Helleborus ‘Walhelivor’ Ivory Prince
Zone: 3 to 8
Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
Missouri Native: No
Native Range: None
Height: 1 to 1.5 feet
Spread: 1 to 1.5 feet
Bloom Time: March to May
Bloom Color: Creamy white
Sun: Part shade to full shade
(From Missouri Gardener Volume I Issue II. Photography By Chris Nejelski.)