Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hellebores - some unusual ones

Helleborus foetidus is one we have all over the garden. This one is evergreen here no matter how bad the winter and sets its buds in late fall. They can sometimes get winter burned, but usually come out in early April. They are a pale greenish color. This one self seeds readily and also transplants easily so we are establishing colonies in several places.

Next is Helleborus odora. It is a chartreuse flower. The plant is only a couple of years old and still small. It seems to have a smaller flower than some others.
This lovely picotee bloom is a volunteer seedling, so you can see the range of possibilities if you just let them go to seed. The babies are all coming up now around the parent plants - so far just the two shiny green leaves. I'll send a picture of them so you know not to pull them out when you're weeding. Only a few survive till the next year, but I've found that you can transplant them with a pretty high success rate.
We have a few doubles but this is one of my favorites. It is unnamed except for a tag which says it is from Pine Knott and it is a double. We have several other double in various shades of rose or pink. This one seems to hold its flowers out better. No point in having a double if all you see is the outside of the bloom which will look just like a simple, single bloom. The blooms are heavier with all those extra petals which is why they tend to look downward, but this one seems to be the exception.

I had a picture of the Lady in Red back when I talked about dark foliage, but I couldn't resist putting it in again since it is so unusual. This is a strain and so not every plant will be identical. This is probably our darkest, but all are similar.

Helleborus viridis has very green flowers. It is a tiny plant, probably only about 8 inches tall. The flowers are also smaller and have a heavier texture than most others. It doesn't keep it's leaves over the winter.

This is a relative of the last one. Helleborus viridis ssp. occidentalis has the same green on the inside of the petals, but is a dark, dusky violet on the outsides. The petals are also more pointed.

This last one is another of the Pine Knott series - this one yellow. The picture just doesn't do it justice. The color in person is a creamy egg yolk yellow with petals that have a very waxy, shiny appearance. This is a big plant and vigorous. Only two years old and already getting to be a good sized clump.

This is just a sampling of the unusual hellebores that you can find. With all of our shade, they have been an easy choice to fill in all over the place. Nothing seems to bother them, bugs or critters and that's always something I have to think of here with the amount of woods that surround our gardens.


Hocking Hills Gardener said...

I really love the Lady in Red hellebore.The foliage is even pretty.

keewee said...

I would like to have Helleborus viridis ssp in my garden, it is a little beauty.

Sylvia (England) said...

Jane, thank you for showing us your hellebores. I do love hellebores, I just wish I had more room to grown lots and lots, sigh!

Best wishes Sylvia (England)