Honeyhill Farms Nursery
Hellebore hybridizers - Portland, OR
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Plant List

Corsican HelleboreHelleborus argutifolius 'Corsican Hellebore'

An evergreen hardy perennial with grayish-green leaves with serrated edges and clusters of greenish-yellow blooms from January into March. In the Pacific Northwest it grows in sun or shade.

Grows 3-4 feet tall. Cut off spent flower stalks. Nice as cut flowers floating in water. Difficult to divide but grows readily from seed.




Helleborus argutifolius 'Janet Starnes'

This is a compact form of the Corsican hellebore growing to about 15 inches. It is notable for its variegated foliage which looks its best in the spring and summer. For cultivation see Corsican hellebore above. This plant cannot be divided.

Helleborus foetidus 'Bear's Foot Hellebore'

A rugged evergreen plant for sun or shade, it has deeply divided dark green leaves, clusters of green flowers from January until late spring. Grows 1 to 2 feet tall. This plant can be "naturalized" in wooded areas and is lovely in a grouping. Allow seeds to drop before cutting off spent blooms as H. foetidus has a reputation for being short lived. New growth will develop off the stem of the current growth so carefully cut off the spent stem in late spring. By this time the new growth will be quite evident. This plant cannot be divided but it seeds plentifully.

Helleborus foetidus 'Wester Flisk'

A variety of H. foetidus which is more compact with rhubarb red stems in winter. A beautiful plant when seen in the dreary months of winter. The green flowers hang in clusters. Grows about 18 inches tall. Follow the cultivation information above for H. foetidus. Cannot be divided. Compost in the spring.

Helleborus xhybridus 'Lenten Rose'

'These beautiful evergreen perennials bloom from January to March with large, nodding blooms in colors from white to purple and black in single, double and semi-double flower form. Plants will eventually grow to the size of a bushel basket about 18-24 inches tall. They grow well in the Pacific Northwest in shade or partial sun (some suggest it will grow in full sun but more watering will be needed). Add humus to the soil when planting. H. xhybridus plants give the best performance if they are mulched each year being careful not to cover the crown of the plant. A good procedure is to cut off the old leaves (the current leaves) in December or January. This allows the flowers to be fully appreciated. Blooms come up first from the center of the plant and new leaves will be seen coming up in late February or early March. These plants are easily divided and we recommend this be done in the fall.

Helleborus niger 'Christmas Rose'

H. niger likes a bright, mostly sunny, well-drained spot and prefers a neutral soil. Plants grow about 12 inches tall. It can be a difficult plant to get established in the garden, but once established it produces dozens of large out-facing white flowers, many with a tinge of pink.

This evergreen perennial blooms from January through April (or even later) in the Pacific Northwest, and in spite of its name rarely blooms at Christmas time here. Cut off any diseased or weather-beaten leaves any time after new growth comes up in the center of the plant. New leaves will begin to appear in late February or early March. We add about two tablespoons of lime to the soil at planting and then once a year. Or planted near a concrete walkway, enough lime will leach from the cement to do the job. Like most hellebores H. niger can be composted. We prefer to do this in the spring. H. niger plants can be divided easily.

Helleborus niger 'Honeyhill Peace'

This plant has been selected for its vigor. Its flowers are pure white and each flower has its own stem. It is very vigorous and its flowers tend to be upright, looking outward rathern than drooping.

Helleborus xnigercors

A sterile hybrid between H. argutifolius and H. niger. It's an excellent substitute for H. niger in the garden as it is more vigorous and more noticeable in the garden and much easier to grow than H. niger. They have dark green leaves and clusters of 6-12 large, white, out-facing flowers on each of multiple upright stems; sometimes flowers are pink. Height ranges from 12 to 18 inches. They will grow in sun or shade although in bright, hot sun they will require more watering in summer. Can be composted in the spring. H. xnigercors can be divided, we recommend doing this in early fall.

Helleborus xnigercors 'Honeyhill Joy'

When H. niger and H. argutifolius are crossed their offspring vary widely in vigor and appearance. H. xnigercors "Honeyhill Joy" is the result of selecting from hundreds of the resultant plants. It (and some plants from other nurseries), bears a spire of out-facing flowers, white sometimes with a pink tint and with a central green stripe on each sepal. The flowers of these hybrids, like those of H. niger, develop close to the crown of the plant and rise as they open. Originally available only by root division, it has now been tissue cultured. It is exceptionally vigorous.

Helleborus xsternii

A hybrid between H. lividus and H. argutifolius. At their best they have grayish-green serrated foliage, vivid red stems and attractive leaf markings. This plant is grown as much for leaf pattern as for flowers. This hardy evergreen plant has greenish-yellow to rosy-pink flowers from January to March. It will grow in sun or shade in the Pacific Northwest, reaching a height which varies from plant to plant from 12 inches to 2 feet. Flowers develop on the current year's growth so cut back the stems only after the flowers are done blooming. The stems will begin to brown and die back. New growth will begin in early March and can be spotted in the center of the plant. H. xsternii cannot be divided but grows readily from seed.

The following “niger hybrids” are so prone to black spot that we no longer grow them for sale.

Helleborus xballardiae (H. niger crossed with H. lividus)

As with all interspecies hybrids, there is wide variation in the appearance of the plants from this cross. The most attractive (to our eyes) display flowers similar in size and conformation to those of H. niger but with a delicate pink flush on a creamy background; the sepals are usually tinged with green on the inside, and their outer surface may also show a pink flush. The leaves are similar to those of H. niger, but with a distinct venous pattern. This hybrid has a reputation for inability to survive cold weather, but it has tolerated temperatures down to 15 degrees F in our garden. These are rather diminutive plants, usually no more than 15 inches tall, so they need a special place in the garden in order to be noticed in winter, preferably in a partly sunny spot. They are said to perform well in pots.

Helleborus xericsmithii (H. niger crossed with H. xsternii)

As might be expected with a parentage involving three species, there is great variability in the results of this cross. However, some are excellent plants, showing large (up to 4 inches in diameter) long-lasting white or pink flowers, often with a green central stripe, on stout stems. The leaves are dark green, patterned and shaped like those of H. lividus, with a hint of saw-tooth on the edges and with wine-red stems. Our favorite plants are compact, more diminutive than either parent, no taller than 14 inches and with about the same diameter. They are generally more vigorous than H. xballardiae, presumably because of the H. argutifolius in their ancestry. The cross is generally considered to be sterile, so propagation is achieved by careful division of the rhizome. Selected specimens of H. xericsmithii make excellent pot plants with regular applications of a dilute liquid fertilizer, but they do best, in the garden or in pots, with several hours of sun daily.


© Honeyhill Farm Nursery 2005

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Last Updated: December 3, 2009