They come in a staggering range of colors, from the deepest maroon to the palest ivory. They’re typically categorized as either having upright blooms on tall stems (caulescent) or no real stems at all, with downward facing blooms (acaulescent).
The tricky part, in my opinion, is placing those with downward-facing blooms where they can be best appreciated. One solution is to plant them in containers to help elevate the plants to so you can have a better view of their gorgeous flowers.
Even though nursery tags suggest regular irrigation, I’m amazed at how often I see huge clumps of hellebores thriving in neglected gardens, with little to no additional irrigation. These tags also suggest planting them in the shade, but again, I’ve seen them blooming like crazy in full sun.
The taller blooms of Corsican hellebores, however, are one of my all-time favorites, and I have them planted all throughout my garden.
Their lime-green flowers begin opening in early February, lasting for several months and then slowly fading to a mellow shade of olive green.
Long after the flowers are gone, the shapely, serrated foliage lasts throughout the rest of the year providing many more months of seasonal interest.
After visiting the garden of Freeland and Sabrina Tanner this past weekend, I was excited to see this fairly recent introduction called ‘Silver Dollar.’
The Tanners also have a stunning display of the unfortunately named, but nonetheless exquisite, helleborus foetidus (otherwise known as Stinking Hellebore, thanks to the smell emitted by the leaves should they be crushed.)
This helleborus lividus is growing in a container on my patio. It’s a dwarf variety, so the container is a great idea, raising it up a bit so I can better appreciate the flowers
The fine folks at Skagit Gardens sent me this new hellebore to trial, called ‘Monte Cristo.’
I’ve had it for 2 years now, and it’s been a fantastic bloomer, with shorter stems and upright facing, creamy flowers. One of my favorites for the front of the border.
For a more information on hellebores Plant Delights has several informative articles here, filled with everything you’d ever want to know about growing these beauties in your own garden.