If you were following this blog back in November 2010, you might remember me posting a picture of Helleborus niger 'Praecox'. It was still in bloom then and continued to produce flowers as it disappeared under snow in December.
After the thaw we experienced over the last few days, it was interesting to see that the same plant was still sending up buds and although many of the flowers from the fall had decayed in the cold and wet, there were a few still functioning. Inside the rather shabby sepals I found that the nectaries, pistels and stamens were all in working order and waiting for a passing pollinator.
A shabby flower burnt by sub-zero temperatures.
Its' reproductive organs still intact.