The Green-flowered Hellebore

Hellebores are valuable for flower arranging because they bloom at a time when bulb flowers dominate the scene and so they offer one a different shape, a different texture and atmosphere. Apart from the well-known white Christmas rose there are many others, most of them green-flowered. The loveliest of these is probably the Corsican type, Helleborus viridis, or the evergreen hellebore, which blooms in March. The flowers persist a long time. There are other species, all handsome. Most hellebores grow naturally in the cool, damp shade of woods. They will grow in an east border ‘which is useful, but the soil must never be sodden nor likely to become waterlogged.

Ready to seed freely and to produce delightful and subtle differences in its offsprings’ flowers is the Lenten rose, H. orientalis. The stems will grow as high as 2 ft. The species is rose pink but there are several varieties nowadays, mainly purple and green mixtures. It grows well on limestone soils.

Another flower which has come gradually to the forefront thanks to the hybridist is bergenia, also known as saxifrage or megasea. This plant will grow in the poorest of soils and in any situation, although it prefers a moist spot where it will grow into huge and most decorative clumps. The flowers come early in the year and although these are beautiful it is the leaves which are of such great value to flower arrangers. These are evergreen except in the bleakest of winters or the coldest of gardens. In the autumn they turn a most splendid crimson. New varieties differ in their leaf coloration as well as in their flowers.

The Green-flowered Hellebore

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