The hellebores, more commonly known as the Christmas rose, flowers from the dead of winter to early spring, making it a favorite of gardeners who like to be outside when temperatures dip. It is an evergreen perennial that looks like a wild rose, but it is from the buttercup family, not the rose family. It blooms in shades of white and pink. It likes full to partial sun and moderate water.
The crocus is an annual that blooms in late winter in shades of white, yellow, lavender and purple, often variegated. It has grass-like leaves. The bulbs need six weeks of temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit to form flowers. It likes full to partial sun and moderate water.
Vernal witch hazel is a hardy, compact shrub that grows up to 10 feet tall. It can thrive in both shade and full sun, with moist soil. In late winter, this perennial blooms with yellow and red flowers. Other varieties have orange and yellow flowers. In fall, the leaves are a golden yellow. Witch hazels like full sun and moderate water.
Glory of the Snow
The star-shaped petals of the glory of the snow poke out of the ground in late winter and early spring. The bulbs are planted in the fall and each one produces one stem that grows up to 9 inches tall with a flower in pink, blue or white. The plants grow in partial sun and like moderate water.
Lily of the Valley Shrub
This shrub brings blooms to the garden from mid-winter through mid-spring, but they are known for their flower buds. The buds form in fall and resemble tiny balls on a string in shades of pink, red or white. The plant likes partial sun or shade and moderate water.