- Position: partial shade
- Soil: neutral to alkaline soil, including heavy soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: February to April
- Hardiness: frost hardy (may need protection in winter)
The almost true-black flowers of this new variety are a stunning sight, particularly when they are just beginning to open. They are mostly outward facing (all the better for seeing them), although some may be more pendent, but they all have an alluring sumptuous velvet-like appearance, which is picked up by the purple-flushed, deep green foliage. Flowering in late winter and early spring they will add interest to shady borders, woodland gardens or patio pots. To create an interesting contrast, plant with snowdrops and/or creamy white flowering daffodils.
- Garden care: Add lots of well-rotted leaf mould or organic matter to the planting hole. Cut the old leaves back down to the ground in January or February as this will show off the new emerging flowers to best effect. It will also help to get rid of foliar diseases such as Hellebore leaf spot. Apply a generous 5-7cm (2-3in) mulch of well-rotted organic matter around the base of the plant in autumn and provide a top-dressing of general fertiliser each spring. Cut off the seed heads to prevent inferior seedlings colonising.
- Harmful if eaten/skin irritant