Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lenten Rose

My husband planted a Lenten Rose last year. It's a small plant that hugs the ground and grows in clumps. Its color can range from cream to purple. Actually weeks ago (it was the night I first saw the armadillo), I noticed that our Lenten Rose had bloomed. It was early January and there was actually some snow on the ground when I noticed it's pure white blossoms shining in the dark when I went outside to investigate some critter noises. (I took a picture of it then, but lost it.) It was pure white then, but it's got a pink blush along the edges and some pale green toward the center now. It's Latin name is Helleborus orientalis; and it's in the ranunculus family, which means it's cousin to buttercups and something called a crowfoot. (I'll have to look that one up.) They are apparently native to parts of Eurasia including Greece, Turkey, and the Caucasus. (Odd how many flowers we take for granted come from Turkey. If my memory serves me well, tulips and many roses had their beginning in Turkey.) Well, our little Lenten Rose is still small, but I hope it grows and spreads so much that we have to divide it and plant it all over the place. We have plenty of woodsy, shaded places to put it. Wouldn't it be nice to walk through the woods and suddenly in the middle of winter come across a blooming clump of Lenten Rose?

A late thought: This plant is also called a Christmas Rose because it sometimes blooms in December. I wonder if it's a coincidence that I first noticed it blooming in early January right around the time of Christmas on the Old Calendar?