A heckuva lot

Certainly, there are gardens with many more hellebores than this garden’s hundred (maybe two, but who’s counting?), and while I will never admit that there are too many of any plant, the quantity of winter flowers is quite satisfactory, at least for now. No doubt, in the future many more hellebores are likely to be shoehorned into tiny spaces, but these will be planted a few per season and not by the dozens.

This inventory number of hellebores includes dozens of species and cultivars, but there are uncountable hundreds of tiny seedlings that grow near long established clumps. Seedlings reach flowering size after several years, and a drainage area just below the first hellebores planted years ago is now happily congested with large, flowering seedlings of varied colors. Handfuls have been dug and transplanted to other parts of the garden so that now I’ve lost track of many that were seedlings (freebies) or ones that were costly purchases.

Disappointingly, with a chilly January, much of the garden was snow covered, with witch hazels and mahonias flowering, but only a few hellebore blooms peaking through small areas that melted between snowfalls. Several hellebores began flowering in mid December, but the progression was halted by snow and cold until a few weeks ago. Now, nearly all have burst into bloom.

A seedling with interesting color variation.
Flowers of some varieties are very dark purple.
Another interesting seedling

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Betsy says:

    Hellebores are one of my favorite flowers. They require a lot of upkeep removing old leaves and flowers once they finish blooming but they are worth it. I give extra plants to friends.

    1. Dave says:

      I might or might not remove older leaves of hellebores. Most often, the new growth hides any browned leaves, so I spend little time maintaining hellebores.

  2. Tom says:

    Lovely – nice job taking the pictures, too. Hellebores don’t make taking pictures easy.

    1. Dave says:

      While some flowers of newer introductions face up or outward, in mamy photos you’ll notice a small twig that holds the flower upright.

  3. James says:

    We have just cut a dozen flower stems and taken them inside. What appear to be seeds (all different shapes) have begun to fall off where we’ve captured them and will return them to the soil tomorrow. Hoping this helps the spread of these beauties. Thick tree leaf coverings seem to block the natural falling of seeds to the ground. Fingers crossed.

    1. Dave says:

      I expect you are seeing the anthers falling. Seeds develop to a noticeable size later. The shaded parts of this garden are covered by piles of leaves until they decay, but some hellebore hybrids are sterile so they do not set viable seeds.

  4. Gorgeous! I like your seedling that has a mix of purple and green on the petals.

    1. Dave says:

      I hear that some people dislike the color of most seedlings, but I like them all.

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