orientalis x hybridis
One of the early stalwarts of the spring garden. The "Lenten Rose"
is aptly named, flowering as it does in the weeks that preceed Easter.
The species originates from Central, Eastern and Southern Europe and comprises
clump forming plants that tolerate heavy soil and dappled shade. The leathery
dark green basal leaves, comprising seven to eleven lance shaped leaflets,
show before the flower heads that appear from mid winter to mid spring.
The flowers can range in colour from white with pinkish spots to deep
maroon. The flowers are two to three inches in diameter and the plant
grows to about 18 inches tall. It can self seed, but I have yet to see
seedlings in my garden.