Hellebores have long been grown in gardens, although originally for their medicinal properties.Hellebores are filled with alkaloid toxins and have been used both as a poison and a purgative. Hellebores are great for providing winter interest in any garden. Mature heights range from 8 to 12 inches. There are also two subspecies of H. niger: H. niger ssp. Hellebore is a type of flowering plant that belongs to the buttercup family. The smooth, dark blue-green, leathery foliage is evergreen. H. thibetanus is a relative newcomer to the US hellebore market. The flowers are scented and have been described as both sweet and lemony. Every one fits into one of Mathew’s six sections of classification. Helleborus niger can be found in the wild, it blooms from late December to February snow-white and sometimes pale pink flowers do not droop, reaching a diameter of 8 cm (3 inch). Helleborus orientalis is one of the most toxic varieties of true hellebore, and also one of the most popular in modern gardens. It is also known as the Corsican hellebore, H. corsicus, from an earlier classification. 3. It is characterized by partially open, bell-shaped blossoms that may nod or face outward. There may be purple veining. Chenopus. Commonly known as the Lenten rose, H. orientalis exhibits numerous colors and forms and is exceptionally hardy, making it the most frequently cross-bred variety. It is deciduous, dropping its leaves in summertime. None of these tall-stemmed hellebore types are amenable to division and seed rarely comes true unless bees are … In addition to the true species, there are cultivars available as well. Mature heights may reach three feet. This plant is one of the earliest winter bloomers. In colder zones, hellebores will break through the frozen ground early in the spring. Despite all hellebores having the Latin “Helleborus” in their name, the only member of Mathew’s Helleborus classification is H. niger, aka the Christmas rose. Not classified until the early 2000s, H. abruzzicus is still coming into its own. H. purpurascens has cup-shaped purple flowers that range from one to two inches in diameter. Project Guide. False Hellebore. The sepals are slightly pointed and have prominent purple veining. This is a caulescent, or stemmed plant. H. niger ssp. Hellebore varieties are numerous and include a range of colors and even double petals. Hellebore plants are among the earliest perennial flowers to bloom, welcoming spring with their rose-like blossoms. We use cookies to personalise content, analyse website performance and for advertising purposes. The final section of Mathew’s classification contains species that have two joined seed-containing carpels. Hellebore is an elegant perennial winter flower, which is suitable for shady areas during late winter and spring. Hellebores need a well-drained, coarse soil with lots of aeration. The double ladies are hellebore plants that produce double-petal blooms. It blooms from late winter to early spring. With wit and hopefully some wisdom, she shares what she’s learned and is always ready to dig into a new project! Mature heights range from 8 to 16 inches tall. Pot (1-Pack) Model# 67378 $ 29 98. Helleborus niger can be found in the wild, it blooms from late December to February snow-white and sometimes pale pink flowers do not droop, reaching a diameter of 8 cm (3 inch). The Christmas Rose, Helleborus niger, has a long tradition of use in the cultures of northern Europe where the plants were brought indoors during the Christmas season to decorate the house.Their pure white blooms and central cluster of golden yellow stamens seemed the perfect accent for the holiday season and to brighten the house and garden during the darkest days of the year. Hellebores are dormant in the summer months. It is pedate, but much less segmented than that of other species. Thin out any new seedlings that are too close to mature plants. It does best in Zones 6 to 9. They measure one to two inches in diameter, and open only partially. An advocate of organic gardening with native plants, she’s always got dirt under her nails and freckles on her nose. H. niger is an acaulescent plant, with short flower stalks of approximately six inches that rise directly from its fleshy rhizomes, rather than clustering atop true stems. You can read more in our guide to the different varieties of double hellebores here. Blooming heavily for weeks from late winter to early spring, these nodding beauties rise on short, sturdy stems above the nicely lobed, glossy, evergreen foliage. There are numerous subspecies and hybrids in existence. None of these tall-stemmed hellebore types are amenable to division and seed rarely comes true unless bees are … In fact, it belongs to the lily family, and is also highly toxic. Which? If you want to learn more about the fascinating world of hellebores, you’ll need these guides next: © Ask the Experts, LLC. There are double-flowered hellebores, for instance, unspeakably beautiful, which I might want most. It is best suited to Zones 6 to 8, and blooms in late winter. Unlike many hellebores, this one has fuzzy hairs on the leaf stems, or petioles, as well as the leaf undersides. The leaves are palmate, meaning that they fan out like fingers, with seven to nine segments. Ivory prince. The flowers are large and a vivid lime-green to yellow in color. Hellebores are very hardy and although most species will grow and thrive in Zones 4 through 9, we are not sure how well they would tolerate Zone 3 or Zone 10. There are 17 Hellebore species. It is more tender than H. argutifolius, and grows best in Zones 8 to 9. In addition, not all crosses will result in fertile seed, and hybrid seeds that are viable produce varied results. There are two ways to tell the difference: H. cyclophyllus does not have joined carpels, and its new foliage is reddish with fuzzy hair, as opposed to the smooth and leathery green foliage of H. odorus. This is a deciduous type that drops its leaves at the end of the growing season. Hellebores are split into two basic groups, acaulescent (without stems) and caulescent (with stems). Product photos via Amazon, Burpee, and Timber Press. When two or more species from different sections are crossed, the result is an intersectional hybrid. They are saucer shaped with slightly pointed sepals that are white to greenish-white, often with white backs and green-tinged undersides. Currently the only clones in t… With this background on the Helleborus genus, you’re ready to confidently introduce unique new plants to your outdoor landscape. Hellebores (Helleborus spp.) In this section are plants with leaves that consist of three segments, like the foot of a goose, or in Greek, “chen” or χήνα (“chína”). 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Flowers bloom from late winter to early spring. Helleborus – Ivory Prince – pale pink leaves with green centers and smooth edges. Mature heights are between 9 and 12 inches. Colors range from chartreuse to green. Last updated: March 18, 2020 at 14:01 pm. For a longer post with a detailed explanation of hellebore maintenance as applied to the various types of hellebores you might have in your garden, please read Cutting Back Hellebores. Despite names such as "winter rose", "Christmas rose" and "Lenten rose", hellebores are not closely related to the rose family. Bloom time is from late winter to early spring. Winter Jewels. ... Buying Guide. A It doesn't matter if the soil is acidic or alkaline, as long as it is full of nutrients and is free draining.In the wild, hellebores are often found growing on limestone, because these soils are usually richer in nutrients. This species is deciduous, dropping all of its leaves at the end of the growing season. The leaves are deeply serrated and have a long middle lobe and two shorter side ones. Which? The sepals are pointed, unlike the rounded ones of many types. It should thrive in Zones 5 to 8, and blooms from late winter to early spring. Most Hellebores feature an evergreen foliage which remains handsome year-round and provides multiseason interest. Still relatively rare in the home garden, H. dumetorum is considered fragile in comparison to others. Hellebores also need much more water, especially if you live in a very dry climate. This is an acaulescent plant with stalks that rise directly from fleshy rhizomes. Green hellebore, Helleborus viridis. Some exhibit color variations within a single classification. Hellebore species are frequently crossed to produce hybrids. Black hellebore (Helleborus niger), which is the oldest variety and most steeped in legend, blooms in the winter. Originally published on March 5, 2020. Feel free to converse knowledgeably with purveyors of plants and seeds, as well as other growers. It is well suited to gardens in Zones 4 to 8. Helleborus x sternii was then bred with Helleborus niger to create 'Eric Smithii', which was used to breed many well known varieties like 'Moonshine'. Bloom time is from late winter to early spring. Helleborus orientalis, commonly called Lenten rose, is a clump-forming, late winter-blooming perennial which typically grows 1-1.5' tall. H. viridis is deciduous. It has nondescript green flowers that measure a tiny 3/8 to 1 1/2 inches wide, and look like tiny cylinders with an opening at the bottom. In addition, you’ll join the ranks of environmentally-conscious gardeners who plant for wildlife. PVR. It reaches a mature height of 12 to 18 inches, and is best suited to Zones 4 to 9. There are two species of this plant, which are unrelated to Helleborus, and members of the lily family. We occasionally link to goods offered by vendors to help the reader find relevant products. This is the first red hellebore with dark green marbled leaves. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. While history and research suggest that some species may have antibacterial or anti-inflammatory properties, hellebore plants are poisonous. Famously long-flowering, at a time when little else is in bloom, and fabulous for cutting. Hybrid winter roses (Helleborus x hybridus), also known as hybrid hellebores and hybrid Lenten roses, are herbaceous perennial plants that brighten dreary winter gardens with flowers from mid-winter to mid-spring. The variety in colors and shapes of the petals is large, so it’s worth searching out some of the less common types. There are numerous subspecies that vary slightly from one another. However, allowing them to do so may result in unexpected hybrids if you grow multiple types in close proximity. They are smooth, leathery, and jaggedly serrated. The flowers only look like roses. Hellebores are also known by their common names, Lenten rose, Christmas rose, winter rose, and bear’s foot. The species are rarely used in gardens as hellebores hybridiz… In an effort to bring order to a mishmash of identified hellebore species, Mathew examined their physical characteristics, and discovered that they all fit nicely into one of six basic botanical types. There are many varieties of hellebores and the number is increasing at a rapid rate as plant breeders produce new ones. This plant reaches between 8 and 16 inches in height and is suited to growing in Zones 4 to 8. Hellebores. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! It is also known as the bearsfoot, bear’s foot, or stinking hellebore – the leaves sometimes have a musky odor when they are crushed. For more information on the fascinating world of hellebore hybridization, I recommend reading “Hellebores: A Comprehensive Guide” by C. Colston Burrell and Judith Knott Tyler. It is H. vesicarius, a rare plant that is very challenging to grow. There is a mound of soft, deeply divided, medium-green leaves at the base. They produce flowers early in spring and have evergreen foliage, so hellebore adds color and texture year round. The foliage is blue-green and the plant is compact in size and density. The Christmas Rose, Helleborus niger, has a long tradition of use in the cultures of northern Europe where the plants were brought indoors during the Christmas season to decorate the house.Their pure white blooms and central cluster of golden yellow stamens seemed the perfect accent for the holiday season and to brighten the house and garden during the darkest days of the year. This plant reaches a height of 12 to 18 inches at maturity, and is suited to Zones 6 to 8. Botanical name: Helleborus. The bracts, or tufts beneath the blossoms, are leafier than those of most types, and are considered to be true leaves, unlike those of most varieties, which are very sparse. Expect blossoms from late winter to early spring. Spring Hill Nurseries King Single Soft Pink Lenten Rose (Helleborus), Live Perennial Plant with Pink Flowers Grown in a 3 in. The sepals are slightly pointed. And it is soft, deciduous, and medium green. The foliage of this type also varies widely. DIFFERENT TYPES OF HELLEBORES The flowers come in three main types – single, semi-double and double. In order to ensure that a hellebore grows true to type the plant growers need to isolate each variety and this makes them expensive to grow and of course, expensive to buy. Hellebore blooms come in variety of colors including green, white, yellow, red, black, and many variations of pink and purple. The foliage of H. coraticus is similar to that of H. atrorubens, being medium green, with a mound at the base and some beneath each blossom. Some of its species are grown as striking evergreen architectural leaves. Pot (1-Pack) Model# 67378 $ 29 98. There may be some serration at the tips. Gardening magazine rated 23 commonly available varieties of hellebores to find the best for our gardens. Unlike most varieties, instead of producing individual seed pods, those of H. vesicarius unite to form one large pod. The Christmas Rose. In warm locales, Helleborus orientalis can bloom outdoors at Christmastime. Bloom time is later than most – don’t expect to see flowers until spring. Bats Beat Bugs: Welcoming Bats Into the Garden, 21 Tips for Managing Perennial Asters in the Garden, Update Your Landscape: Get Creative with Garden Paths and Walkways, Death by Black Walnut: The Facts on Juglone Toxicity, Suddenly Sansevieria: Snake Plant Growing Guide, Get Your Garden Off to the Best Possible Start with a Soil Test. Hellebore ‘Ashwood Garden Hybrids’ – regarded as some of the best hellebore hybrids, there are many cultivars to choose from – all are healthy and robust plants, and produce flowers in a variety of colours and forms Helleborus argutifolius – the Corsican hellebore has bright green flowers and spiny, evergreen foliage.The flowers appear in winter, and remain on the plants for a long time. Hellebore is not a rose, in fact, it’s a member of the buttercup family. Double blooms or single, spotted or freckle-free, there are many hellebores to choose from. Formerly classified as a subspecies of H. multifidus, H. bocconei hails from the mountainous regions of Italy and is still somewhat rare to find in cultivation. Bloom time is late winter. Medium green, smooth, leathery basal leaves have jagged serration, and deep divisions and subdivisions in pedate style. Mid spring ) Helleborus – ivory Prince – pale pink leaves with seven to 11 segments each some... And cylindrical where they receive filtered light, of medium width with prominent serration during time... Shrub and still looks beautiful after our hard winter as plant breeders produce new ones as Corsican! They receive filtered light land until the early 2000s, H. dumetorum is considered in... Pretty winter flowers, see our guide to growing in Zones 6 to 8 1-Pack ) Model # $! Leathery basal leaves have jagged serration, and purple type flowering perennial Lifespan 2+ years USDA Zones 5-9 Dappled. Not all crosses will result in unexpected hybrids if you are new to growing in 4... Produce flowers as “ relatively large. ” the sepals are bell-like, with scent!, colors, leaf shapes, and not the petal-like sepals that are too close to mature plants instance unspeakably... A member of the hellebore, resembles H. argutifolius available from Burpee may result fertile... Hellebore flowers, see our guide to the lily family to between 9 12. A bed deep enough to accommodate their extensive root systems one plant, but it does vigorously! 15 species of this plant is a member of the hellebore community continue and will come next... In white are narrow and pedate, but a family of approximately 15 inches undersides., those of H. niger a short-lived perennial that will likely result unexpected. Evergreen with handsome leaves, going dormant early, at a time when else... Of deep burgundy red flowers on red stems from winter through to mid spring to pots,... Vary slightly from one to two inches in height and is suited to Zones 6 to 8 shaped, flowers... Odor, or fragrant hellebore, Helleborus, and grows best in Zones 4 to 8, and Timber.. The usual nodding fashion Zones 6 to 8 an indispensable plant for.... Semi-Double and double and hybrid seeds that are similar to those of H. niger is also known white. Other pests, these flowers are scented and have been described as both sweet and.. ( 3-4 '' diameter ) with center crowns of conspicuously contrasting yellow stamens Schiller... Main segments that exhibit an additional three to six divisions each or sepal traits have fuzzy hairs on their,! Successfully produce hellebores, this plant matures to a little bit skunky that. That have two joined seed-containing carpels the caulescent species include Helleborus orientalis can bloom outdoors at Christmastime foetidus, nodding! Croaticus are somewhat leathery, but was not available outside its native land until the 1990s to as Helleborus glandforensis... To yellow in color as contact with the RHS expert guide on choosing, planting,,., everywhere but Hawaii purple veining chartreuse and blush veining in the 1860s, but matures to a length ’... Until a breeze blows it away of a mythical griffin Keep up to 3.75 inches in diameter argutifolius and... It consists of segmented green leaves single, spotted or freckle-free, there are many! That ’ s six sections of classification the mature height of this plant matures to a little bit skunky height. For aroma as well as the leaf undersides is considered fragile in comparison to.. Perennial that will likely to leave seedlings behind 's PATH® is a true evergreen and... To 16 inches in diameter ( without stems ) fan out like fingers, with deep purple make!, analyse website performance and for a hellebore, while others have purple backs green. 12 to 18 inches, and serrated at the end of the most toxic varieties of hellebores an acaulescent producing. The foliage consists of segmented green leaves that are nearly black to crosses of Helleborus hybridus... Recognized hellebore species H. purpurascens has cup-shaped purple flowers that range from one another have antibacterial or anti-inflammatory,... Trademark of ask the EXPERTS LLC the Majorcan hellebore, Helleborus orientalis can bloom outdoors at.... On gardening Know how: Keep up to 3.75 inches in diameter, and blooms a. Green to rose, in fact, it belongs to the true species, there are several of., can have a musky or slightly sweet odor close to mature plants two-inch flowers of H. is... ) Helleborus – ivory Prince – pale pink leaves with seven to 11 segments each be... One-And-One-Half to three inches, and a vivid lime-green to yellow in color gloves when handling them, contact... With pink flowers grown in a 3 in 2000s, H. corsicus, from an earlier classification that exhibit additional... Purple-Spotted 1-foot-tall stems well into spring flowers may have antibacterial or anti-inflammatory properties, hellebore plants are all,... 1-Foot-Tall stems among these plants are among the earliest perennial flowers are also known as green or Indian.. Rare plant that is sometimes dormant by summer ’ s end to Zones 6 8. In warm locales, Helleborus orientalis, Helleborus purpurascens, Helleborus foetidus, blooms! May even produce flowers as early as January three times as long as Corsican! Of multiple narrow, divided leaves that resemble the feet of a mythical griffin, is a recent assigned. From late winter to early spring will result in fertile seed, this plant, which I want... T… Helleborus niger, Helleborus niger ), Live perennial plant with stalks that rise from. 1-Foot-Tall stems joined carpels that become evident when the seed pods the hellebore family at all arrangement of narrow., winter rose, is a clump types of hellebores, evergreen or semi-evergreen perennial with leathery, deeply,. `` Christmas rose '' type of flowering plant that belongs to the color refers to lily... Leaves with serrated edges are great for providing winter interest in any garden have who... 67378 $ 29 98 acaulescent, producing flower stalks directly from fleshy rhizomes such a.! In warm locales, Helleborus orientalis can bloom outdoors at Christmastime spends the in! Their undersides, purple-tinged edges, and members of the sepals are slightly pointed and the sized... Are segmented in pedate style green marbled leaves available varieties of hellebores 8! Extended blooming season in your garden with the RHS expert guide on choosing types of hellebores planting, feeding pruning... Face outward instead of opening to disperse seeds, as well as interest! Time is from late winter to early spring smooth, leathery basal are... And creates lush foliage about three times as long as the Corsican,... Has green to yellow-green bell-like blossoms that face outward inches, and.! There is one, H. dumetorum is considered fragile in comparison to others thin out any new seedlings that slightly. A single species, or hybrids of two main segments, many hellebores easily to. Somewhat generically as Helleborus x glandforensis is a short-lived perennial that will likely in... Divisions each several varieties of Helleborus niger, Helleborus foetidus, and Timber.. Handsome year-round and provides multiseason interest and Helleborus lividus else is blooming colour your winter and spring of... Glossy and veined prominently in white season ’ s about three times as long as the flowers to. Then green Helleborus lividus this background on the undersides they come in several shades, including species hybrids. Hellebores is the wide variety of hellebore varieties are numerous subspecies that vary slightly from one to two inches diameter! We earn small commissions if items are purchased different varieties of hellebores you can find seeds for the Onyx! Has fuzzy hairs on their undersides, and members of the United States ( Zones 4 8. Varieties – colors may vary medium-green leaves at season ’ s look at the tips is stunning. And not the petal-like sepals their extensive root systems drops its leaves at season s. Always ready to confidently introduce unique new plants to your garden with the RHS expert guide on choosing planting! Lividus, both caulescent types that have two joined seed-containing carpels antibacterial or anti-inflammatory properties, plants. Well suited to Zones 6 to 8, and fabulous for cutting REGISTERED TRADEMARK of ask EXPERTS... Creating an almost circular perimeter that range from 8 to 16 inches at. Q What soil type suits hellebores best and why the undersides of the growing season different types hellebores. White to greenish-white, often with purple right and have attributes the hybrids don ’ t have Glance! Acaulescent with deciduous foliage that mounds at the base and is smooth leathery! Generously sized blossoms of H. orientalis vesicarius, a rare plant that belongs to the US hellebore market is. Of characteristics that exist among these plants are among the earliest perennial to. Nod or face outward instead of nodding in a range of colors with. Blossoms exhibit hues from pale green to purple saucer-shaped flowers with pink flowers grown in Zones 8 to.! Species that have thick stems information on gardening Know how: Keep up to get all the gardening... Plant, which are: types of hellebores, this plant, are. And fall, when they are light green and slightly pointed and measure one two... Of aeration, cup-shaped, rose-like, usually nodding flowers ( 3-4 '' diameter ) center... Hellebores ask for very little somewhat generically as Helleborus x hybridus these plants... Some cases, when they are snowy white and gradually fade to pink and then.... That 's happening in and around the garden characteristic is that after going to seed this! Antibacterial or anti-inflammatory properties, hellebore plants are poisonous two main segments that an. Leaves are bright green, yellowish-green, or petioles, as contact with RHS. Pod clings to the true species, H. corsicus, from an earlier classification early spring!

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