Hellebore Plant Profile and Growing Notes
The common Hellebore (Helleborus) are in themselves a useful garden plant, but once we start to look at the wonderful H. Orientalis hybrids available for sale in Australia the world of helleborus x hybridus collecting begins to open up.
For many years growers have been hybridising the common hellebore and now we have flowers ranging from white to a slate black and all shades in between. (see picture right)
Flower forms also differ, did you know that you can buy double hellebores, and Picottee flower forms. White flowers spotted with pink, pink flowers spotted with red the list of varieties offered for sale online is almost endless.
Any flowers in Winter are welcome of course, and when July has turned to August we have hellebores as well as wattles, Epacris (native heath) in pink and white; yellow, perfumed Mahonia and camellias to enrich our gardens.
They can be used in shaded positions and work well beneath deciduous trees where they can be planted with purple, white or yellow Crocus while glistening white snowdrops (Galanthus) complete the picture.
Hellebore specimen plants can grow well in pots and with a little cutting back of old foliage during winter they are easy to maintain.
Hellebores have dangling cup-shaped flowers which invite one to reach down and look inside. The outside of the sepals (which look like petals: the true petals are reduced to nectaries within the flower) may be rich pink while the inside may be paler, sometimes spotted, within. Dark nectaries can make the flower even more fascinating.
- Height – To 50 cm.
- Spread – Clump forming to 70 cm.
- Foliage – Mid to deep green.
- Flower colour – White through to yellows, pinks, reds and deep slate grey.
- Flowering period – Mid winter inter through to spring.
- Position – Shade to part shade.
- Growth rate – Fast once established.
- Water requirements – Low once established.
- Soil – Humus rich well drained.
- Pruning – Prune back in early winter to tidy up and for the best flower display.
- Fertiliser – Use a slow release, general purpose fertiliser in spring. Mulch and organic fertiliser is also suitable.
Hellebore Species and varieties
These new colorful flowering hellebores brighten the winter months and with the ability to grow in shade to part shade, hellebores are a wonderful versatile plant.
The pink, plum and white varieties are known as Helleborus x hybridus and incorrectly as Oriental varieties because there are genes from H. torquatus and others in the parentage of these varieties, not just H. orientalis which is greenish-white in the wild.
H. x hybridus vary from green, white, pink to purple and plum-black. Yellow ones are occasionally available and grey-blue and spotted ones are irresistible. Old varieties may have green through the flower.
Hellebores are a native to areas of Europe and were believed to have medicinal attributes they all prefer a humus rich well drained soil.
Species available for sale in Australia include : Helleborus x Hybridus, H. Orientalis, Double Hellebores, H. Corsicus, H. Viridis, H. Foetidus, H. Argutifolis, White Helleborus, H. Odorus. Hellebores can also be grown from seed.
You may also be interested in
Hellebore Plants are available for sale online from the following nurseries
PO Box 744, Woodend, Victoria, 3442.
Specialist Hellebore nursery in the Macedon Ranges. Quality hand pollinated Helleborus x hybridus & good range of less common species. "Mail order Hellebores available May to August. Hellebore Sale days in July and August"
Specialising in Rare and Unusual Peonies (American, Chinese, Japanese, Herbaceous & Itoh) and Brugmansia's. We also sell (hard to find) plants and bulbs.
Farm sales from September to December or by appointment (Marie) 0416 166 397
View us on eBay www.ebay.com.au/str/josies-joy for Mail Order
357 Monbulk Road SILVAN VIC 3795
Guaranteed "garden worthy" bulbs, plants and perennials. Visit the website to browse our large range of daffodils or request the latest free catalogue.
412 James Lane, Fern Hill VIC. 3458 - Phone 0419002651
Large range of Rare plants, Climbers, Bulbs, Perennials Fruit Trees, Ornamental Trees and Shrubs. Available both Retail and by Mail Order
862 Midland Highway Mount Rowan Vic 3352
We offer over 245 varieties of Fuchsia, tubestock, pots, baskets and standards. Mail order specialists. Open 7 days by appointment.
470 Monbulk-Silvan Road Monbulk VIC 3793
"Guaranteed mail order flowering bulbs, perennials, roses, trees, landscaping plants, garden accessories and community fundraising Austra lia-wide."
'Umbango' 750 Humula Rd, Humula NSW 2652
Phone 0408692773 Great Range of Perennial plants available for sale by mail order.
125 Palmer Rd Jindivick 3818
Open Thursday - Sunday 10am - 4pm
Specialising in growing and selling Rare and Unusual Trees, shrubs Perennials Bulbs and Climbers, a unique nursery with amazing stock.