This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Community Favorites, 75 can't-fail, easy-care plants well-adapted to our region and recommended by local gardeners.
Metallic Blue Lady Lenten rose
Helleborus x hybridus 'Metallic Blue Lady'
Size: Under 2 feet tall
Bloom season: Winter, early spring
Exposure: Partial to full shade
Pruning needs: Little or none; remove spent flower stems
Water needs: Once established, water deeply every two weeks.
Snapshot: Here's a winter winner for dry shade a handsome hellebore with blue flowers. This shade-loving perennial fits perfectly under trees and brightens the winter landscape with nodding, roselike flowers in a striking shade of blue. The leathery evergreen foliage looks good all year. Hellebores require very little maintenance and not much water. You can see specimens in the Ruth Risdon Storer Valley-Wise Garden on the UC Davis campus.
Why it's a Favorite:"I love the foliage all year around, and the fact that this plant loves the shade," said arboretum volunteer Kathryn Shack. "The flower is a fantastic blue color in contrast to the other hellebores."
For more on the Community Favorites and Arboretum All-Stars, click on http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu.