The Christmas Rose

December 22, 2016

The Christmas rose blooms at Christmastime. Really!  The flower pushes up out of the snow. The blooms last for weeks and the plant lasts for years.

Helleborus niger, aka Christmas Rose.

Helleborus niger, aka Christmas Rose.

It is said that it bloomed outside the stable at Bethlehem, although the plant is not a native of the Holy Land.  The rose reminds us of the stable in the snow, the hovering angels, the kneeling donkey and the Magi.  The story of the Christmas Rose reminds us of another story the Little Drummer Boy.

A little country girl who on visiting the Stable and wept because she had nothing to give the Christ Child. Her tears fell in the snow and a hovering angel landed and showed her the Christmas rose poking through the snow to use as her gift.

A photo of a Christmas Rose peeking through the snow. Photo by Kyllir.

A photo of a Christmas Rose peeking through the snow. Photo by Kyllir.

Even though the plant is very poisonous, the Christmas Rose is truly a wonderful plant. For one thing, its seeds are spread by, of all things, snails. They eat the oil covering the seed and carry the rest away. It’s certainly no normal plant.  The flowers are literally frozen solid and yet, when the ice falls away, the petals are soft and fresh as spring blossoms.

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