Plants - Perennials

Raising hellebores

By
Anne Marie Van Nest

Notable for their long-lasting, attractive blooms, these shade-loving perennials are heavenly harbingers of spring


Perfect partners

Spring-flowering perennials and complementary foliage colours harmonize well with hellebores in the garden:

  • 'Rose Queen' barrenwort (Epimedium grandiflorum 'Rose Queen') Zone 4
  • 'Obsidian' heuchera (Heuchera 'Obsidian') Zone 4
  • 'Berries and Cream' 
lungwort (Pulmonaria 'Berries and Cream') Zone 3


Hellebore varieties

‘Silver Lace’ Corsican 
hellebore
(Helleborus argutifolius ‘Silver Lace’)
h x w: 50 x 60 cm  Zone 6
Creamy green flowers; stiff, sharply toothed, leathery leaves; grown for its foliage pattern of pewter silver with fine, lacy, green veins
Tip: Propagated by tissue culture

‘Blue Lady’
(H. x hybridus ‘Blue Lady’)
h x w: 30 to 45 x 45 to 60 cm  Zone 4
Upward-facing, plum-purple flowers with bluish overtones; lustrous, deep green, evergreen foliage.
Tip: One of the darkest-coloured hellebores; seed grown

‘Kingston Cardinal’
(H. x h. ‘Kingston Cardinal’) 
h x w: 45 to 60 x 45 to 60 cm  Zone 5
Double, nodding clusters of rich raspberry-red sepals, aging to a smoky plum-grape colour; stems and new growth are red.
Tip: Propagated by tissue culture

‘Mrs Betty Ranicar’
(H. x h. ‘Mrs Betty Ranicar’)
h x w: 35 to 60 x 45 to 60 cm  Zone 5
Large, double, pure white blooms; slightly ruffled and longer flowering than single types.
Tp: A robust grower and bloomer; seed grown

‘Pink Lady’
(H. x h. ‘Pink Lady’)
h x w: 20 to 45 x 45 to 60 cm  Zone 4
Long-blooming, upright, pale pink blooms deepen in colour as they age; lustrous, deep green, evergreen foliage
Tip: Seed grown

‘White Lady Spotted’
(H. x h. ‘White Lady Spotted’)
h x w: 20 to 45 x 45 to 60 cm  Zone 4
Upright, white blossoms with maroon-flecked centre; thick, dark green, evergreen foliage
Tip: Seed grown

Ivory Prince
(H. ‘Walhelivor’)
h x w: 30 to 45 x 45 to 60 cm  Zone 6
Dark, reddish pink buds open to ivory white, outward-facing blooms blushed with pink that deepens with age; dark burgundy stems and glossy, green leaves with silver veins
Tip: Propagated by tissue culture

Photo: 'Ivory Prince'

 

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