Christmas rose or "Helleborus niger", an impressive winter flowering plant


christmas rose

Helleborus niger

Helleborus sp.


(note: the symbol "sp." standing for "species" denotes that the species is not indicated - Only the genus is written)


Find its place in the "big scheme" using the "Catalogue of Life"


Here is a note on the etymology of Helleborus according to which the word may be derived from ἑλλός meaning fawn (little deer) and food.


Top left image is from this page from The Guardian | Photograph: Jonathan Need/Alamy


It cites this Royal Horticultural Society record 

Christmas rose© RHS


Here is another article from The Guardian on Hellebores (a significant number of articles has been publised by the Guardian on these plants).



Note: Refers to Helleborus orientalis – Lenten rose (Wikipedia N.B. most of the Lenten hellebores in gardens are now considered to be H. × hybridus)


"Winter would not be winter without this little ritual and my delight in hellebores never diminishes. Flower in winter is precious, and I actively look forward to the hellebores. Gathering strength when nearly everything else appears to be sleeping, the new growth pushes free from last year's rosette of leathery leaves, rising up elegantly and holding the flowers free in a space clear of foliage."


Top right image is from this Wikipedia pagePhograph: Nzfauna 



Here is a story on the rescue of a fawn this year (2015) at the Yellowstone National Park. Link

A man named Darius, who is believed to live near Yellowstone National Park, rehabilitated a fawn last spring




Editing the "Encyclopedia of Life" (EOL) - a Wikipedia-like collaborative effort


Here is the relevant record:


Brief summary

No one has contributed a brief summary to this page yet.

Explore what EOL knows about Helleborus.

add a brief summary to this page




"Major developments" for Kingdom Plantae


Browsing the taxonomy for Kingdom Plantae: two major phyla

As mentioned at the page "Taxonomy of Species", the "Catalogue of Life" is the official resource for the taxonomy of different species. If we browse the taxonomy tree for Kingdom Plantae as described previously:


Access the monthly or annual edition from the page

and the respective buttons.

Catalogue of Life: 

Monthly edition






To view the taxonomic tree select it from "Browse" as follows (red rectangle): 





Here are the corresponding phyla:


Phylum Anthocerotophyta • 51 spp
Phylum Bryophyta • 13,373 spp
Phylum Marchantiophyta • 788 spp
Phylum Tracheophyta • 335,609 of 339,356 est. spp (99%


As we see, the first and third phyla have a small number of species. In the past, the first three were grouped together as Bryophytes but now they are split.


As mentioned in wikipedia:

Bryophytes, a group of plants formerly regarded as a single division but now split into:




First major development for Kingdom Plantae is the Vasculature for water transfer etc (Trachea): From Bryophyta to Tracheophyta (or Vascular Plants)

Vascular plants (from Latin vasculum: duct), also known as tracheophytes (from the equivalent Greek term trachea) and also higher plants, form a large group of plants that are defined as those land plants that have lignified tissues (the xylem) for conducting water and minerals throughout the plant.

(Wikipedia) Detail of the vasculature of a brambleleaf.



(Wikipedia) Cross section of celery stalk, showing vascular bundles, which include both phloem and xylem.


If we browse the taxonomy tree for phylum Tracheophyta we will see the following classes:


Class Cycadopsida 
Class Equisetopsida 
Class Ginkgoopsida 
Class Gnetopsida 
Class Liliopsida 
Class Lycopodiopsida 
Class Magnoliopsida
Class Marattiopsida
Class Pinopsida
Class Polypodiopsida 
Class Psilotopsida


Let us try to understand these.




Second major development for Kingdom Plantae is embryo getting around it a backpack of food: From Pteridophyta to Spermatophyta or Seed Plants (both Tracheophyta)

(Spore vs Sperm or Seed)


Here are the three Pteridophyta classes and one that is related to this division. Pteridophyta include ferns.


Class Lycopodiopsida - related to Pteridophyta
Class Marattiopsida - Pteridophyta
Class Polypodiopsida - Pteridophyta
Class Psilotopsida- Pteridophyta




Third major development for Kingdom Plantae: smart food-carrying embryo gets receptacle (αγγείο) which gives flower; from Gymnosperms to Angiosperms or Flowering Plants (both Spermatophyta)


Class Cycadopsida - Spermatophyta - Gymnosperms
Class Equisetopsida - Spermatophyta - Gymnosperms
Class Ginkgoopsida - Spermatophyta - Gymnosperms
Class Gnetopsida - Spermatophyta - Gymnosperms
Class Pinopsida - Spermatophyta - Gymnosperms


Angiosperms depending on whether they have one or two food storages (cotyledones) are divided to Monocotyledons and Dicotyledons


Class Liliopsida - Spermatophyta - Angiosperms - Monocotyledons
Class Magnoliopsida - Spermatophyta - Angiosperms - Dicotyledons




Recapitulation (Kingdom Plantae) 

Phylum Anthocerotophyta
Phylum Bryophyta
Phylum Marchantiophyta
Phylum Tracheophyta

   Class Marattiopsida - Pteridophyta

   Class Lycopodiopsida - related to Pteridophyta

   Class Polypodiopsida - Pteridophyta
   Class Psilotopsida- Pteridophyta


   Class Cycadopsida - Spermatophyta - Gymnosperms
   Class Equisetopsida - Spermatophyta - Gymnosperms
   Class Ginkgoopsida - Spermatophyta - Gymnosperms
   Class Gnetopsida - Spermatophyta - Gymnosperms

   Class Pinopsida - Spermatophyta - Gymnosperms

   Class Liliopsida - Spermatophyta - Angiosperms - Monocyledons
   Class Magnoliopsida - Spermatophyta - Angiosperms - Dicotyledons