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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Winter Flowers

Flowers are blooming right now in a park near my home in Brooklyn. These winter and early spring bloomers are called Lenten Roses, Winter Roses, Hellebores (for their scientific genus Helleborus), and more. They are not really roses, but rather evergreen perennial plants cold tolerant enough to pop up from under the snow like the one in the photo above. Click to enlarge. 
The flowers start cup-shaped and nodding like this. They also come in green, purple, yellow, and pink. 
Except for one Chinese species, the hellebores are native to Europe. They are toxic and have been used medicinally since ancient times -- but please don't try that. They also have been used for some eyebrow raising things by the magically inclined -- for instance, in potions that help witches fly and powders that promote invisibility.
It's nice to see them on this grey weekend -- 56 days from the start of spring. 

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