Answer: Hellebore is the common name for plants such as Helleborus orientalis (Lenten Rose), H. niger (Christmas Rose) and H. foetidus, the Stinking Hellebore. These would generally be termed as perennials and planted individually. They are considered long lived plants and may increase by self sowing but are not in my experience aggressive or spreading. So while they could be planted en masse or in an informal grouping, I would not typically think of them as an aggressively spreading traditional groundcover plant such as ivy or periwinkle. The hellebores listed above would be hardy to zone 3 and do well in a rich, well drained, neutral to alkaline soil in shade to partial shade. They bloom from late winter to early spring depending on variety and microclimate and are quite lovely.
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