Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bashful Hellebores

Hellebores are shy flowers, usually opting to turn toward the ground instead of greeting the world with a cheery, open face.  It can be quite difficult to get a good look at their beautiful faces without getting up close and personal.  So, that's just what I did.  Muddy knees never hurt anyone.

Helleborus foetidus  

With a common name of stinking hellebore it's not too surprising H. foetidus hides its face.  The lime-green foliage is supposedly pungent when crushed, yet is visually striking against a dark green backdrop.

Helleborus orientalis hybrid

The dark purple blooms of this hellebore match the maroon tint of the new vegetative growth.

Helleborus x orientalis  pink spotted hybrid

There are many selections of  H. orientalis hybrids, but this pink spotted hybrid is one of my favorites.

And finally, the 'Ivory Prince' hellebore exudes more confidence than many of its relatives.  Its delicate pink flower is displayed upright, well above the foliage.

Helleborus 'Ivory Prince'

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