The MGS Forum

Plants for mediterranean gardens => Perennials => Topic started by: gertrude on December 06, 2018, 10:10:03 PM

Title: Helleborus
Post by: gertrude on December 06, 2018, 10:10:03 PM
Can someone explain the difference between Helleborus niger and orientalis,  as in my view they appear to be one and the same.
Title: Re: Helleborus niger and orientalis differences
Post by: Alisdair on December 07, 2018, 09:33:07 AM
Helleborus niger's flowers are normally a clear waxy white and almost always single on each strongly upright stem, with undivided bracts. H. orientalis flowers are more often coloured, and often several to a rather weaker stem. I'm sure there are other differences too.
Title: Re: Helleborus
Post by: gertrude on December 07, 2018, 09:40:49 AM
Thanks for that,  its saved me from a few embarrassing moments.  You may see why when you read the  next Plant of the Month on our FB page.
Title: Re: Helleborus
Post by: JTh on December 07, 2018, 02:47:01 PM
Your reply describes the differences very well, Alisdair, I found another, more detailed one at , which said: 'To the botanist the features which distinguish H. niger from other species are the undivided bracts, the noticeably prominent elaiosome on the seeds which anyone sowing fresh seed will have noticed and the smooth pollen grains. To the gardener the large, pure white, waxy flowers carried singly on stiff upright stems and the dark, leathery, almost untoothed foliage make it easily distinguishable.'
My experience is that H. niger always flowers earlier, I intended to take a photo of one in our garden (in Oslo), which has been in flower from mid-November, but I was too late, it's now covered in snow. I have only seen flowers on H. orientalis in spring here.
Title: Re: Helleborus
Post by: gertrude on December 07, 2018, 06:20:56 PM
Thanks everyone,  I now know that I seem to have both niger and orientalis.  Both of mine last year flowered in December,  this year they are a little tardy.  I hope I have revised my text so that there is no confusion  on our FB page.

Thanks Jorun,  found the article you found a little more informative that what I had previous read.
Title: Re: Helleborus
Post by: Fermi on September 09, 2019, 09:10:07 AM
Awhile ago a breeder in the UK was able to create a range of hybrids which were strong and sturdy (but sterile) and were mass produced by tissue culture to be spread around the world. We only got our first (Penny's Pink) a few years ago but it wasn't thriving where it was. We moved it 2 years ago and it did much better where we could give it some summer water - so we got a few more! Here are the four in flower this year:
Helleborus 'Anna's Red'
Helleborus 'Emma's Choice'
Helleborus 'Penny's Pink' with another white Helleborus x hybridus (pics taken 10-08-2019)
Helleborus 'Hannah's Blush' (pic taken today)
Title: Re: Helleborus
Post by: Charithea on September 09, 2019, 01:39:56 PM
Amazingly beautiful!!
Title: Re: Helleborus
Post by: Umbrian on September 10, 2019, 07:39:41 AM
Interesting comments Fermi especially to learn that you successfully transplanted some. I had always understood that Hellebores resented being moved and indeed found this to be true when trying to move a self set plant of a particularly beautiful dark purple flowered one  that unfortunately chose  to appear in the middle of a gravel path. Despite careful attention it failed to establish. Also the fact that yours did better with some occasional summer water. Since moving to a smaller house and
(Unfortunately smaller garden!) I placed several Hellebores under an inherited Persimon tree being the only suitable site with shade. The ground is rooty and dry but the original plants are thriving and I am also getting volunteers each year. These hybrids obviously have different qualities - some good, some less so - very pretty on the whole though and a wonderful addition to the winter garden 😊
Title: Re: Helleborus
Post by: Umbrian on November 03, 2019, 07:48:29 AM
I was amazed to find my Helleborus niger in bud a a week or so ago and now, after some showery but warm days, the stems have shot up and some flowers opening. Most years they never live up to their name of 'Christmas rose ' and I have to wait until January to enjoy the flowers. Not quite the same when the summer flowers, especially many different Salvia, are still going strong.
Title: Re: Helleborus
Post by: Hilary on April 05, 2020, 05:37:45 AM
Helleborus sternii

Seen growing  in the Royal Botanic Garden Madrid , March 2018

There is some information about this plant here

To learn about new Hellebore hybrids read
THE MEDITERRANEAN GARDEN number 96, April 2019