Helleborus orientalis, the Lenten rose, is a species of hellebore in the buttercup family, native to Greece and Turkey. German planters began breeding the species in the mid-19th century, but it fell out of favour as a garden plant in the 1920s. Interest was revived in the 1960s by Helen Ballard, who bred many new varieties. Cultivars have plain or spotted flowers, which can be white, green, pink, maroon or purple.
Photograph credit: Dominicus Johannes Bergsma