If Floom was a turn-of-the-millenium chain of forgotten stores selling mid-range clothes aimed at teens, and I was an above-the-line marketing guy who rode a longboard to work and said -‘shoot’ before anyone offered an opinion then right now I’d be desperately trying to work out a way to work a hellebores/hella-boring pun into this.

Luckily I’m not/Floom isn’t, so we’re free to concentrate on the hella un-boring qualities that this evergreen perennial exhibits. A part of the Ranunculaceae family, which is one of our faves despite it’s preposterous use of vowels, it’s grown now pretty much exclusively for the amazing flowers that bloom from its stems in unexpectedly frosty conditions. 

Pretty as they may be, a lot of them are also pretty poisonous (don’t put them in your teas, hippies!). Their toxicity obviously hasn’t stopped meddling humans throughout history thinking they’d cure all manner of ailments, most notably insanity. Which I guess it would, given that if it causes you to go into cardiac arrest and die, you’re probably no longer foaming at the mouth and ranting about how jet fuel can’t melt steel beams in the middle of a park/Youtube video.

While the regular species tend to err on the understated green-petalled side, there are some stunning varieties, most notably - and seasonally-appropriately - the ‘Christmas Rose’. This cottage garden favourite bears pure white petals and gets its name from a legend about a little girl who was weeping because she had no gift to give the Christ child in Bethlehem. Luckily, her tears hit the snow and from them sprouted these flowers. There you go: because nothing says ‘It’s Christmas’!’ like being reduced to tears because you can’t afford a decent gift like the other obedient little consumers/followers. 

Happy holidays! Go outside, pick some posies and give them to your loved ones!