A True Sign of Spring
While cutting back the old spent foliage of Hellebores, I came across an Aesculus fruit (Horse Chestnut) which had germinated. Most hardy woody plants have a safety mechanism which requires seeds to be moist and chilled for several months. After satisfying this dormancy requirement, they will begin to grow. This allows seeds to grow without being damaged by frost. The root emerges first to nourish the top and provide support.
A Hellebore after last years foliage has been removed. Generally cold weather will not harm the emerging leaves and flowers.