Picture this...our scene opens with a helicopter camera shot as it flies over the beautiful but rugged alpine landscape. The snows of winter are beginning to melt as the dark months begin their journey to brighter days. Down in the alpine meadows below bristling in the receding snow are tiny sunbursts surrounded by pristine petals as white as snow. Can you hear the music of Ennio Morricone begin to swell? The camera moves in on a close-up of our star...The Hellebore, botanically known as the Helleborus species. Today's featured star is actually a hybrid known as Helleborus niger 'HGC Jacob'.
|Helleborus niger 'HGC Jacob' profile|
Hellebores, as they are often referred to, come to us from places in Europe such as Croatia, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, and Southern Germany. They are the stalwarts of the cool, shade garden. Today's star Helleborus niger 'HGC Jacob' has handsome leathery leaves of dark green with purplish stems topped with stunningly white buttercup-like flowers. This species tends to bloom from November until April. In warmer winter climates they have a tendency to kick off their bloom show in December when most plants are taking a vacation from the winter season. Thus the common name Christmas Rose. They really take on a sophisticated quality when grown massed in sweeps under large trees or in other shady areas. Another interesting feature that's cool is the star-like cluster of structural seed pods it produces after blooming. Very otherworldly and opulently odd. The overall look of this hellebore is ruggedly elegant and poised. It grows in clumps up to 12 inches tall and wide, thrives in shade, likes moist, fertile soils, and regular water. It can also handle temps down to -20 degrees fahrenheit/-28 degrees celsius. So if you want to sprout some style in your shade garden profile consider growing some cool carpets of hellebores.