Saturday, April 3, 2010

Helleborus x nigercors

Helleborus x nigercors

Helleborus x nigercors

Hybrids of Hellaborus niger seem to be everywhere these days, Canada Blooms (Toronto's Annual Spring Flower Show) was awash with H. x 'Ivory Prince' and when I asked one of the 'landscapers' why this was so, he replied that "It's one of the plants that is perfect this time of year". Well so much for originality and just for the record, they were far from perfect.
I've got nothing against 'Ivory Prince', but there is a much more diverse choice out there for the person with vision and a little curiosity. And I'm not talking about finding the newest and the latest either, my favourite H. niger cross is one that I've grown for close to ten years, it is H. x nigercors ( a hybrid of H. niger and H. argutifolius). The form I have has green flowers turning to white with maturity and pink striping on the underside of the sepals.


keewee said...

Bing a fan of hellebores, i love the lime green colors for the shadier parts of my garden as they really stand out and make a statement.

GardenJoy4Me said...

I think you are absolutely right about this ! I have Orientalis but the tag did not go into which exact cultivar it was from that point and having it for almost 5 years now .. it has been my perfect hellebore all year round !
even in Kingston's hot humid summers it has been gorgeous .. it gets morning sun but light afternoon shade.
I have many more now since a friend sent me some amazing types last Autumn .. Golden Lotus (I truly don't know if it will bloom for me yet .. Onxy Odessy, London Fog, Royal Heritage .. well, I have a few as you can see ?
Which includes Ivory Prince .. but I have not pegged one favorite yet .. I just love them all : )
PS .. I am trying ot visit all the new Canadian bloggers here : )

Barry Parker said...

Hi Keewee,
I understand some of the best Hellebores come from New Zealand and obviously some of the biggest Hellebore fans too.

Barry Parker said...

Hi Joy,
Thanks for dropping by.
I hope I didn't sound too negative about 'Ivory Prince', I think it's a great plant; it's just the way that these landscapers seem to have a repertoire of six plants and use them over and over.
Your list of new plants sounds fascinating, I'm looking forward to doing a Google image search on them right after writing this.

Teza said...

I had to titter at your mini rant, which to me was more directed at the landscapers than the Prince - which has been one of the only consistent performers for me, hence my attraction..... but with H. thibetanus making its first appearance this year, I think the Prince might find himself usurped very soon! I really, really want H lividus - but need your greenhouse in order to be successful I think!

Barry Parker said...

Hi Teza,
You're right, as you can see in my earlier reply, it's the landscapers lack of interest in plants and the fact that they view them as a commodity that really gets to me.
'Ivory Prince' is a fine plant, but it seems to be the only one these guys know. They sense that there is public interest in this or that plant, but they don't know why.
I'm going into another mini rant, which is not what I intended. So more positively, H. lividus sounds great, but I gather a bit like H. argutifolius, which for me rarely flowers, getting badly burnt by the frost in early Spring. It survives as a fine foliage plant sending up new foliage after the frosted old foliage has been cut to the ground. Both these are described as caulescent, which I think means that the flowers are born on a central stem. I wonder if the hybrids from H.lividus are hardier?

James Missier said...

I would consider something like this lovely if they do grow in my place, I guess there are many different hybirds which is far amazing than this.

Happy Easter Barry.

Barry Parker said...

I do grow some plants that we both can grow in our very different environments. I must try and include some in one of my next posts.

ecoman said...

I love the rants! Bring on the rants. Perhaps landscapers are more interested in quantity and availability than gardeners? David Leeman is the only person I know "in the business" who would spend hours searching for Corylopsis pauciflora (how do you charge for that?). Speaking of Hellaborus though, I have found two other suppliers and will call tomorrow to see what they are growing.

Barry Parker said...

My Dear Ecoman,
I hope you don't think that I count you in as one of those 'Landscrapers'. You are in this business because you care about the natural world rather than the latest ride-on mower. David Leeman, well he's a complete Plant Geek, isn't he.
Let me know about the hellebores.