Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year - New Look

This month's photo is a picture of Helleborus argutifolius - formerly known as Helleborus corsicus, or Corsican hellebore.

Hellebores are interesting plants. They bloom in winter and early spring. Two common species, Helleborus niger and Helleborus orientalis, are named the Christmas Rose and the Lenten Rose, from their bloom seasons. The Christmas rose is hard to cultivate, and shy to bloom its pale flowers. The Lenten rose is far easier; promiscuous, actually. It's easily bred, giving gardeners a lot of fun selecting interesting variations of color and blossom forms. Lenten roses can be grown with pink flowers, lemon-yellow flowers, speckled flowers, almost-white flowers, and flowers so deeply plum-colored they are almost black.

The Corsican hellebore is a different thing entirely. It's larger, more indestructible than its herbaceous cousins, with tough, leathery prickle-edged leaves. It grows well in Southern California - the other species can't take the heat and drought the way the Corsican hellebore can.

This plant has thrived in my dooryard planter box going on five years now, and opens its subtle chartreuse blooms every January. I hope you enjoy it.

5 comments:

Nihal said...

new page...
new story...
new day...
new you...
new year...

May 2009 bring you peace, joy and prosperity, Glennis.

**Mutlu Yillar** Cheers

KathyR said...

Oh, those are gorgeous. And I was just looking at hellebores in one of the million garden catalogs that just came to the house. D'you think they'd survive in my parched earth?

phd in yogurtry said...

There's something magical about winter blooms. So determined.

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

yes, a great new look!

Deb Hall ~ Zocalo Folk Art said...

Gorgeous...absolutely gorgeous! Happy hellebores new year...Deb over at da Zocalo.