Hellebore_4.jpg
Credit: Richie Steffen

Named as the 2005 Perennial Plant of the Year by the Perennial Plant Association, the hellebore flowers for about two months and the blooms are complemented by magnificent foliage, which is a great addition to the shade garden and forms a perfect backdrop for bulbs and other perennials. Gardeners with skin sensitivities should wear gloves as the leaves can cause mild dermatitis. The positive aspect of this is that the alkaloids that cause the skin irritation make the plant unattractive to foraging deer.