Over the last few years Hellebores have been becoming one of my most favorite flowers. The more I see them and work with them the more I like them. I never really noticed them as a plant before they came up on our plant ID study list in college.
We walked around campus and looked at masses of green kind of tattered looking plants that has tons of green flowers and weird seed pods. We learned about the “Stinking hellebore” and how some of these plants had been around since the dinosaur ages. Pretty impressive! I value fortitude in plant material, so I bought a few while I studied them. They were the green flower varieties and I ended up digging them up and donating them to my mother’s yard, where they hung on to a rock hillside much happier than they had been in my sandy loam planting beds.
A few years ago Mom brought me a magazine article about Hellebores showing plants of all different colors and speckled blossoms of white, black and pink. I think It was Martha Stewart, but I’m not sure, I just know it was fabulous and they had a teeny tiny side note that said the plants came from a Nursery in my area! I found the Nursery; I tracked down the hellebore’s and I was in heaven.
Probably spent an hour choosing the exact coloring of each individual plant, White with deep red purplish spots, dark, dark purple almost black, I still want to find a good true pink. It was a hefty sum at the checkout, and I got the are you crazy look from my husband for spending so much on four plants, but C’est la vie! Hyacinths for the soul, right?
And so began my love affair with hellebore! There are so many things I love about this Plant, let me start with now; It’s blooming NOW! at the end of January giving hope of spring and warmer weather. I don’t live in a cold climate, but I’ve seen tons of pictures of this plant coming up right out of the snow. It’s not afraid of cold weather. Because the newer orientalis varieties of Hellebore have only recently become widely available, Hellebore is still a less common stunner and so I think just growing this cool plant drives up you garden sheik originality factor.
Since Hellebore start blooming now their dormant season is in the summer. I have mine paired with foliage plants that fill in over the summer and the hellebores make a nice background green accent that lends itself to tropical theme, and they are considerably drought tolerant.
What more could you want! (plant-lovers sigh)
Look For Helleborus orientalis in your local Nursery or garden Canter to get the most colorful varieties!