proper labeling of Hellebore

rebow(6 Philly)February 16, 2013

Hello, I own a garden center in Malvern PA. I want to label the Hellebores correctly. My staff wants to put the common name on our tags, "Lenten Rose". However, I read that the only true Lenten Rose is H. orientalis subsp. abchasicus (Lenten Rose). So would it be incorrect and bad form to label our retail Hellebores x hybridus as Lenten Rose? And is the only true Christmas rose H. niger so labeling a hybrid "Christmas Rose" is incorrect as well. Thanks for your help. Rebekah

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There is no such thing as a "correct" or "true" common name. By definition, these vary from region to region, country to country and even plant to plant. The only correct labeling required is the proper botanical name - after that, there is nothing inherently incorrect about referring to any hellebore as a Lenten rose if you wish. Personally, I just refer to them all as 'hellebores' - that's about as generic as you can get :-)

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 4:22PM
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Beware common names! What may be perfectly acceptable in conversation would appear very unprofessional in a nursery or garden center setting. As gardengal48 has indicated, the botanical name is the only correct way to label, especially when you are dealing with a genus so heavily hybridised as helleborus.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 6:28PM
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rebow(6 Philly)

Amen to that!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 6:45PM
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