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Idaho Helleborus Company

Bringing Beauty to your Garden

About

Hellebores are prized for their beautiful and delicate flowers during the dreary and colder months of the year.  These rare perennial plants are easy to grow, resilient, cold-hardy, low maintenance, and deer and rabbit-resistant.  Hellebores feature evergreen foliage which provides interest in the garden year-round.  The genus Helleborus, of the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae), is composed of about 22 species of perennial herbs native to Europe, Marroco, and Asia, including Lenten rose (H. Orientalis),  stinking hellebore, or bear’s foot (H. foetidus),  black hellebore, or Christmas rose (H. niger); and green hellebore (H. Viridis). Typically, these plants are nearly stemless (acaulescent), with thick non-invasive roots and long-stalked, divided leaves. The long-blooming, showy flowers, with five petal-like sepals surrounding a ring of small, cup-like nectaries are borne above the leafy bracts.  The petal-like sepals are petals modified to hold nectar.  The sepals remain on the plant for many months while the flower color fades.  A recent Spanish study suggests that the persistence of the sepals contributes to seed development.  Hellebore's five seedpods, filled or empty of its seeds, provide great interest to the fading flowers. 

Helleborus Lividus

 

Most of the Hellebores offered on this site belong to the H. Orientalis species.  They are commonly called Snow Roses, Christmas Roses, Lenten Roses, or Hellebores.  This species has numerous hybrid selections and you can find these plants, when available under this site's 'product' section. The nodding single- and double-petalled flowers range in color from white, yellow, green, blue, pink, purple, red, and black.  Most of the flower centers have numerous stamens outlined by tubular nectaries or fleshy beaked capsules.  

Snow Roses, such as the HGC® Ice N' Roses® and HGC® series start blooming in November (Early Red, etc.), December (Barollo, Rose, Picotee, etc), and January (Carlotta, Rosetta, etc).  The HGC Ice N' Roses Marble series starts blooming in January and February. 

Christmas Roses, such as HGC® Diva®, Jesko, etc, start blooming in November through early spring.  

Lenten Roses, such as the Frostkiss® series starts blooming in January.  The Wedding Party®, Honeymoon®, Winter Jewels®, and HGC® Spring Promise® series starts blooming in late February and March.  

 

Some interesting facts you may not know: Helleborus that have been hybridized have names such as helleborus x ericsmitthii, helleborus x glandorfensis, helleborus x ballardiae, helleborus x iburgensis, etc.   The last part of the names was named after the breeder or their choice of name for that series.  For instance, the breeder of the HGC® Ice N' Roses® named the series 'glandorfensis' to express his close ties with his hometown of Glandorf in Lower Saxony.  A very famous English breeder was Helen Ballard, and many hybridized Hellebores bear 'ballardiae' in their name, including the Lady series, HGC® Merlin®, 

HGC® Camelot®, HGC® Maestro®, etc.  'Ericsmithii' is named after a very famous plantsman who in the 1960's hybridized between H. niger and H. × sternii (itself a hybrid, between H. argutifolius and H. lividus).  Hybridizing a hybrid was a feat.  

Another interesting fact is if you see helleborus x iburgensis (H. x iburgensis) on a plant tag, you will notice the leaves are marbled or mottled colors.  The Frostkiss and the HGC® Ice N' Roses® Marble series are this hybrid.  This hybrid comes from the Spanish Helleborus Lividus species and is fertile in the first generation and then becomes sterile.  

Veratrum (False Hellebores) is not related to Helleborus.  

Taxanomy and Atttributes of Hellebores are:

GENUS: Helleborus

FAMILY: Ranunculaceae

Life Cycle: Perennial

Country of origin: Europe, Morocco, and Asia

Plant Type: Herbaceous Perennial

Woody plant leaf characteristic: Broadleaf evergreen

Flower Bloom Time: Winter to Spring

Helleborus Art


Characteristics:
Height:
 18.0-24.0 Inches
Spread:  18.0-24.0 Inches

Hardiness Zones: 4,5,6,7,8,9
Flower Color: Numerous - White, Yellow, Green, to Red depending on the species
Foliage Color:  Green shades, som marbled leaf varieties
Sunlight:  Part Shade (4-6 hrs. Direct Sun) and can tolerate full Shade (< 4 hrs. Direct Sun).  
Water Requirements:  Low to Average Water Needs
Soil Quality:  Average Soil Quality to Fertile Soil Quality
Soil Chemistry:  Neutral Soil
Bloom time:  Winter to Spring
Attracts Wings:  Bee Friendly
Critter Resistant:  Deer and Rabbit Resistant
Seasonal Interest:  Evergreen
Growth Rate:  Slow
Garden Style:  Patio Container, Eclectic, and Woodland Shade
Origin:  Not Native to North America – origin Europe, Morocco, and Asia
WARNING: Hellebores are poisonous. Do not consume any part of the plant!
 

Helleborus Information

Planting instructions:

Hellebores are enjoyable to grow because they are low-maintenance and disease and mostly pest-free. Plant them at the crown level. In the Spring simply trim back last year's foliage. These beautiful and rare plants can adapt to almost any growing conditions. They prefer rich, moist, organic soil, but they will also grow in clay or sandy soil. Once the plant is established, it can even tolerate short periods of drought. They also tolerate soil pH that ranges anywhere from slightly acidic to slightly alkaline.  Hellebores are shade plants that need to be protected from the hot afternoon sun, especially in zones 7 and up. They will grow in full shade under large deciduous trees as long as they receive sun from winter to spring before the trees get their leaves.  The winter sun helps bloom setting.  Mulch Hellebores heavily in the Fall.  New seedlings will grow in this mulch come spring and can then be transplanted elsewhere in the garden.

WARNING: Hellebores are poisonous. Do not consume any part of the plant!

Beauty is an attribute of the Soul and the beauty of flowers nourishes the Soul. 

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