Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Hellebous - Great plants for Winter interest

Helleborus is one of those great old fashion perennials that have been in gardens for years. Every Winter gardeners experience the impressive display Helleborus put on. There are many forms of Hellebore, most gardeners are familiar with the colored hybrid selections mainly from H. orientalis parentage. For growers these types typically take 1-2 years to flower from seed. There is another group of Helleborus that are mainly grown from tissue culture, that take one year to flower and have impressive flower counts but are generally limited to white, cream and light pink flower colors. I have been doing a trial of about 20 tissue culture selections at the nursery, and they are all starting to pop as I write this. Helleborus niger types are the first to bloom, this is the classic 'Christmas Rose' starting in Decemeber and peaking in January. The other forms, nigercors, and ericsmithii types usually start in Febuary and Bloom through March. Check nurseries now for flowering plants.

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