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(PPAF) = Propagation of this plant prohibited without a license.

Hardiness Zone Map


Helleborus

Helleborus

Christmas Rose/Lenten Rose

Stories about this genus are countless. In medieval times, it was considered a weapon a­gainst witches, madness and evil spirits. Hellebores deserve a place in every garden, not only because of their supposed power, but because they bloom for a long time, early in winter, when the weather is cool and many plants are still dormant. Most like moist, loamy soil with lime and leaf mold. We like them as ground covers for deciduous shrubs, conifers, or broad-leafed evergreens, and when possible plant them in an elevated spot to admire their flowers.

<i>Helleborus argutifolius</i>

This native of Corsica and Sardinia is one of the largest Hellebores, with big racemes of light green, cup-shaped flowers nodding well a­bove gray-green foliage. The sturdy leaves of this bushy, subshrub-like plant have veins of marble and small teeth that turn red with age. Try it as a foil for Epimedium ‘Orange Queen’, Omphalodes and Pulmonarias

Blooms February|#8211;April

Size: 18" – 2' 0" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 6.

<i>Helleborus</i> x <i>ballardiae</i> ‘HGC Pink Frost’

Hybridized by German plantsman, Josef Heuger, ‘Pink Frost’ boasts a captivating floriferous display and a versatile hearty evergreen habit. A multicolored effect is created as legions of burgundy buds unfurl antique-toned pink petals, which encompass blonde stamens, and eventually mature to a deeper rosy red. Forging a forest-green clump of thick, small-toothed, red-petioled leaves, this Helleborus lividus and Helleborus niger progeny is tailor-made for containers and obliges a wide range of light exposures including deep shade, full sun and everything in between. (USPPP)

Blooms January|ndash;March

Size: 9" – 15" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Helleborus foetidus</i> ‘Wester Flisk’ <i>Helleborus foetidus</i> ‘Wester Flisk’

From the banks of Scotland’s Tay River, ‘Wester Flisk’s fantastic foliar effect and extraordinary coloration will leave you spellbound. Large finely dissected palmate leaves with narrow jagged-edged finger-like leaflets interlace in a singular geometric fashion, creating a dark green dome that casts rich maroon shades from fall to spring. Set off by red stems and stalks, the airy chartreuse clusters of perfectly shaped bell flowers are rimmed in red. This exceptional selection maintains its composure when exposed to sun or shade, rabbits and deer, and dry, moist or clay soil.

Blooms February–April.

Size: 18" – 2' 0" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Modeled on tall strong stems above varnished evergreen foliage, the large ornately marked grape purple flowers showcase contrasting bright green nectaries surrounded by prominent dusky violet freckles. Chris Hansen’s discerning eye selected this remarkable Hellebore strain for its vibrant legions of otherworldly 3 ½ in. blooms and its fetching deep green visage that possesses amazing vigor.

Blooms January–March

Size: 18" – 2' 0" high x 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Helleborus</i> x <i>hybridus</i>

Perhaps one of the finest low growing, early flowering plants, this Helleborus is easy to grow, requiring only shade and some moisture. The nodding flowers, which range in color from blush white to plum, are usually spotted on the inside with crimson and maroon. Lustrous and dark green, the 12 in. wide evergreen leaves are divided into seven to nine segments.

Blooms January–April.

Size: 18" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

Deemed some of the finest low growing, early flowering plants, the hybridus Hellebores are easy to grow, requiring only shade and some moisture, and those in the “Lady” series, innovated by Gisela Schmiemann, are renown for their beauty. ‘Blue Metallic Lady’s darkly alluring, cupped and upfacing flowers boast lavish midnight purplish blue hues with merlot and pewter overtones and a bright cluster of champaign-colored stamens. Lustrous and dark green, the broad evergreen leaves are divided into 7 to 9 segments.

Blooms February–March.

Size: 15" – 18" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

One of the prized outcomes from Charles Price’s complex breeding programs, this new Hellebore offers darkly alluring, cupped and upfacing flowers, which boast charcoal hues suffused with blue, plum and wine tones and sprightly champaign-colored stamens. Broad dark green leaves are divided into 7 to 9 segments and retain their lustrous finish throughout the year.

Blooms January–March.

Size: 15" – 18" high x 18" – 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Helleborus x hybridus ‘Onyx Odyssey’ (P-2069)

Each $13.75

AVAILABLE LATE SEPTEMBER 2019

Applauded as the best black double-flowering hybrid on the market, the 3 in. wide nodding flowers, hosted atop a glossy evergreen habit, flaunt sumptuous color for several months. Up to 20, ultraswank ruffle-edged petals glisten in beckoning shades that range from smoky plum, slate-purple to nearly black, while encompassing frilly champagne-colored centers. Longevity, superb vigor and dark reddish new growth are the hallmark of this divine Marietta O’Byrne seed strain.

Blooms January–April

Size: 18" – 2' 0" high x 18" – 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Helleborus x hybridus ‘Painted’ (P-2063)

Each $13.75

AVAILABLE FALL 2019

Hats off to Oregon’s Marietta O’Byrne and her impressive Helleborus breeding program for introducing this fanciful easily grown selection. Festooned with eye-catching freckled and blotched burgundy-colored centers, single rounded creamy white flowers are showcased against a composed, leathery dark green foundation. The multitude of long-lasting blooms enliven shady garden alcoves and can be surrounded by Dicentra ‘Bacchanal’ and Ajuga ‘Black Scallop’.

Blooms January–April

Size: 15" – 20" high x 18" – 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Another stellar Hellebore from the highly touted Lady series, ‘Picotee Lady’ affords ample feminine appeal with uniquely etched fanciful blooms. The cup-shaped greenish white flowers flaunt rosy wine rims, pink or red veins, darker pink flipsides and a starburst of flaxen stamens. Thick lightly toothed dark green leaves craft a glistening dark green foundation that can be easily grown and relished nearly all year, especially when nestled next to Pulmonaria ‘Dora Bielefeld’.

Blooms January–April.

Size: 14" – 18" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Earning the Perennial Plant of the Year award in 2005, this Gisela Schmiemann innovation is renown for its outward facing dusky reddish violet flowers. The alluring dark blooms, heightened by spry light-colored stamens, are clustered above a glossy evergreen bed of thick, toothed and segmented dark green leaves. ‘Red Lady’s mysterious flair can be associated with other coddle-free woodland dwellers such as Beesia deltophylla and Omphalodes ‘Starry Eyes’.

Blooms January–March

Size: 15" – 18" high x 18" – 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Helleborus</i> x <i>hybridus</i> ‘White Lady Spotted’

This elegant empress will take command of your winter garden. Warmed by a maroon freckled center and distinctively showcased against a dark green, thick-leafed evergreen base, each beautiful rounded white blossom appears to be sculpted from snow. Her glorious bearing is the result of Germany’s Gisela Schmiemann’s outstanding Hellebore breeding program.

Blooms January–April.

Size: 14" – 18" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Helleborus</i> x <i>lemonnierae</i> ‘HGC Madame Lemonnier’

Hailing from Martine Lemonnier’s Normandy garden, this delightful newly introduced hybrid sprung up as a chance H. niger and H. hybridus seedling. Substantial, forward-facing plum-pink flowers, each with a central boss of butter-colored stamens, are lifted by tall staunch stems and a fuss-free dark green visage. ‘Madame Lemonnier’s gorgeous sterile blooms unfurl for months beginning in January, while her robust leaves make a classy year-long statement. (pp#25,646)

Blooms November–February

Size: 16" high x 18" – 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Helleborus</i> ‘Midnight Ruffles’

Flaunting three times the petals of most Hellebore blossoms, large lusty black double flowers, enhanced by buttery yellow stamens, distinguish this marvelous new Chris Hansen introduction. Borne on strong stems, the swank outfacing blooms, which span over 3 in., maintain their splendor for twice as long as their single flowering counterparts and unleash tantalizing drama into any garden setting. Rare, highly coveted, and deer-proof, ‘Midnight Ruffles’ also furnishes glossy good-looking evergreen foliage for your year-round enjoyment.

Blooms January–March.

Size: 18" – 22" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

Promising early winter floral magic, this superbly bred selection boasts a luminous bevy of yellow-stamened crisp white petals atop burgundy stems. Defined by 7 petals, as opposed to the usual 5, and a light green or blush pink coloration as they age, full forward-facing flowers rise from dark green toothed leaves that shape a lustrous evergreen foil. Perfect for holiday decorating, ‘Jonas’ can be enjoyed in bouquets, in a lightly shaded mixed planting or a magnificent container specimen on the patio.

Blooms November–January

Size: 12" high x 18" – 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Helleborus niger</i> ‘HGC Joseph Lemper’

Highly acclaimed for his upright vigorous habit, long bloom period and early, outward-facing flowers, ‘Joseph Lemper’ touts the largest stature in the Gold Collection, a recent Dutch series of improved niger cultivars. The plenteous, 3 in. wide, somewhat cupped, pure white blooms are centered with decorative flaxen stamens, while crowning sturdy stems and dashing, thick, evergreen forest-hued foliage. (pp#15,615)

Blooms November–February

Size: 18" high x 18" – 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Helleborus</i> x <i>nigersmithii</i> ‘Ivory Prince’

Also known as Helleborus x nigersmithii ‘Walhelivor’.

With dark dusky pink buds and outward facing, easy-to-view ivory-petaled blooms, this vigorous Lenten Rose is aptly named. Innovated by the truly gifted English breeder David Tristram, and vegetatively propagated, ‘Ivory Prince’s exquisite flowers reveal a subtle infusion of colors, from soft green and antique rose on the inside to earthy plum hues on the exterior. Sturdy wine-tinted stems and princely, deep green leatherlike foliage marked by light prominent veining and toothed margins maintain a pleasing evergreen presence all year long.(PPAF)

Blooms March–April.

Size: 12" high x 18" – 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

After 15 years of meticulous record keeping and careful hand crossing by American breeder, Chris Hansen, this vigorous richly colored Hellebore is the first selection to be released from the Winter Thriller series. Enormous 3 ½ in. wide, long lasting mahogany red flowers are perfectly rounded, as sumptuous as velvet and copiously produced, exceeding some 70 per plant. Poised on sturdy pencil thick stems, the glamorous outfacing blooms showcase bright platinum-colored stamens, and when mature, transmute unusual green hues well above the evergreen bed of thick, dark lustrous leaves.

Blooms January–March.

Size: 18" – 22" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Helleborus</i> ‘Sunshine Ruffles’

Beaming large sunny yellow double flowers with magenta-laced margins, this vigorous Chris Hansen cultivar introduces a new floral color to his Winter Thriller Hellebore series. Perky bright green nectaries embellish the aptly named cheerful blooms, which can number up to 50 or more, atop strong stems and a shiny Yew green bushy base of winning evergreen foliage. The ruffled flowers make a fulgent counterpoint to Pulmonaria ‘Bertram Anderson’s silver-dappled leaves and blue blossoms in shady garden niches.

Blooms January-March

Size: 18" – 22" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

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Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Our featured plant: Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora ‘Honey Angels’

Colorful Crocosmias, Be Awed by your August garden, Saturday Strolls!

Click here to view our Late August 2019 Newsletter!

Colorful Crocosmias!

Crocosmias pack a punch of late summer color as our gardens transition into autumn. Their clustered tubular flowers populate the ends of gracefully arching spikes, which emerge from handsome sword-like foliage. Ranging from yellow, peach and orange to fiery red, their prismatic shades look exceptional with white flowering perennials such as Phlox ‘David’, Selinum wallichianum and Aster ‘Bridal Veil’, as well as the blue blossoms of Aconitum, Agapanthus ‘Storm Cloud’ or Aster ‘Twilight’. For fun you could create a hot border, blending them with Kniphofia, Helenium, Salvia and even other Crocosmia, plus be sure to include some in your next bouquet. Commonly referred to as Montbretia and hardy to Zone 6, they appreciate, good drainage, adequate water and some shade in scorching summer sun. Please feel free to check out our extensive collection of Crocosmia cultivars in the perennial section of our online catalog.

YES, it’s possible to be in awe of your late August garden….

At this point in the season, some areas in our gardens may appear a tad worn or lackluster. If you haven’t already done so, you may wish to cut back a few tired looking perennials, such as the Nepetas or Geraniums, so you can enjoy a fresh flourish of growth plus more blooms. Adequate moisture and an additional application of compost will also ensure late summer vigor. Incorporating plants that provide a bounty of flowers and alluring leaves in August and September helps buoy our spirits, and hopefully even inspire a little awe as we approach fall. Though the plants featured in this newsletter either promote a bold statement or possess more refined aspects, they equally caught my eye and made me pause to take a closer look. Perhaps they’ll spark a wondrous moment for you as well. All of us Digging Dog plant wranglers wish you Happy Digging!

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