Favorite Hellebores?

Riverhead, NY

After a few years of trial and error, I've decided that the sole hellebore I have in one of my back garden is a serious winner. Unfortunately, I have no idea of the cultivar. It likely came without a tag. Nonetheless, I'm in zone 7, plagued by deer, and have plenty of sandy and shady ground (such joy -- not). I'm thinking of picking up a few more hellebores and wondering who has a favorite or two to name.

Poulsbo, WA

Hands down, my two favorite are Anna's Red and Penny's Pink because of their great leaves.

First two images are Penny's Pink, the third is an early-in-the-year picture of Anna's Red (which is much more purple than red).

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Riverhead, NY

Brilliant. Thanks much for the pics and the idea. Considering we see leaves more than the flowers, your choices are wonderfully clever.

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

I have several Hellebores.
Some general advice- the classic flowers dangle down, and the backsides are greenish, so not at all noticeable unless you lie on your back and look up. I picked some yellow ones that have yellow on both sides of the petals. I went to the nursery and picked those that I could see from a distance. Also I have them sited so I look up at them coming up the driveway! These are very very very nice. Some other Hellebores I have just for the foliage.

Helleborus Winter Jewels 'Golden Sunrise' is the yellow one, a seed strain, some have more red than others so I recommend buying them while in flower to pick your favorites. Super hardy in dry shade, the flowers stay on until summer!

Helleborus 'Blackthorn Group' leaves of mine seems to be like H argutifolius , flowers dusky purple, I look at them because I am desperate to see flowers that time of year, but they are not much. However, I LOVE the leaves 12 months a year, and it survives in a terribly dry situation and never complains.

Helleborus niger 'Jacob' is a white one, heavily marketed. I tried three times, it is not very hardy for me. One has survived, always flattened and eaten by slugs, both leaves and flowers. Also it exhibits a common problem with Hellebores, in cold weather the flowers are green not white. And guess what, it's always cold when they flower. I guess they grow them in a warm greenhouse to make them pure white. I felt ripped off.

Helleborus Spring Promise 'Elly' a double pink, is really nice. I have them on a little rock wall so they can be seen up close without bending over. Survived hedge removal, spent the summer in the sun with little water, they look fine!

Helleborus Gold Collection 'Snow Fever' fabulous white mottled leaves, very tough and doing well, has purple stems and veins in cool weather to place next to raspberry colored flowers in spring. One of my mostest favorite foliage plants.

Helleborus lividus 'White Marble' I planted this spring, for the white marbled foliage, it is doing well.

#1 'Snow Fever'
#2 "Golden Sunrise'
#3 'Elly'
#4 'Jacob' looking ratty, as always
#5 'Blackthorn Group' It's the leaves I like.

This message was edited Aug 11, 2015 10:28 AM

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Otway, OH(Zone 6b)


Riverhead, NY

Wow. Thanks Pistil. You are a gem on this site. The note on dry shade are particularly welcome. You notion of planting them in a raised bed is also very wise. No can do here, and so the great leaves are quite alluring for me.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

I have this amazing, frilly pink Hellebore.

I got it years ago in a trade with someone.
Anyone know what the name is?

Thanks, gita

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Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Gita, there are a number of similar double hellebores, so I'm not sure mine is the same as yours. But I have one called 'Party Dress'. Pictured below. I think there's a whole series of Party Dress hellebores.

As for hellebores with variegated foliage, I have one called Janet Starnes. I can't find a picture of it, but it has striking white variegation on the leaves. I don't know if this is universally true of white variegated hellebores or unique to Janet Starnes, but mine mildews horribly once it gets hot & humid. It's pretty when it comes up in the late winter/spring, but by mid-summer it's toast. Might be a consideration if you're in an area with humid summers.

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Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)


Thanks for the info. I will check out the "Party Dress series of Hellebores.
One of them has to match...

Am I in an area with humid summers????? We have nothing but humid here....
in Maryland. I live in Baltimore...It is miserable. 90+ degrees hot--and 80% humidity.
I sweat like a pig....It has also been a rainy summer this year.

I work in Garden Dept. at a local Home Depot. All summer, my job has mostly been to water
ALL the tables and racks and plants and bushes. ALL day!
Try that with pulling those heavy rubber hoses around all day in this heat!
I might as well have just stepped out of a shower.

PS--my favorite Hellebore is the deep, smoky purple/black ones.

We are all waiting for a break in this weather....soon...I hope...


Peachtree City, GA(Zone 8a)

I hope my yellow hellebores bloom next year. I long ago lost the tags on my hellebores and most are from seed that was spread by the wind. Here are some pictures I just took outside.

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Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Very pretty blooms!!! Your garden is way above ours here--even though
some of our Hellebores are also trying to bloom.
The only one I have in some bloom is the pink one from last fall's swap.

I have not really checked on the others. It has been either too cold--too wet--
too buried in snow-or too muddy to venture out and look.
Happy spring--to--be--- Gita

Westbrook, CT(Zone 6a)

I was quite pleased with my H. niger, which has been happily multiplying under our east-facing windows for a decade, until I saw the 'Winter Jewels' series. I've just ordered a couple of those and am fighting the urge to splurge on more.

Clarksville, TN(Zone 7a)

I love my Hellebores.

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Otway, OH(Zone 6b)

Beautiful Carole

Clarksville, TN(Zone 7a)

Thanks, kat. They are blooming now and some of them are loaded with blooms.

Otway, OH(Zone 6b)

Mine are still covered with snow

Putnam Valley, NY(Zone 5b)

The ones in my front bed are blooming beautifully. But as is characteristic of hellebores, the blooms face down. I have ordered some Berry Swirl and plan to put them on the hill behind my kitchen door - so they will look down on me. Then I can enjoy the blooms more. I'll try to post pix tomorrow

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

Mine are about done now, but here are some photos from January and February this year.
The last one is a new one I got last year, tucked on the north side of a board fence, so never gets a beam of direct sun. This photo was taken with my cell phone, held about 1" above the ground, facing up!I think I need to move it so it can show off a bit.

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Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Plant Delights is listing several hellebores which supposedly have 'outfacing' flowers. I've never tried any of them. The downfacing flowers are always frustrating - it would be so nice for them to hold their heads up so you don't have to do gymnastics to get a picture!

This message was edited Mar 29, 2016 6:01 AM

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