Field of Science

Spring flower wish list

Here's an early spring flower that the Phactor doesn't have, the stinking hellebore (also dungwort or bear's claw hellebore because of the highly divided leaf)(Helleborus foetidus). What a charmer! But maybe our climate is a bit too severe for this species. First try at this species resulted in winter kill, and it was a tough winter, but supposedly this is hardy in zone 5, just maybe not in our nasty zone 5 with its radical temperature swings often without the benefit of snow cover. In spite of its various common names, it doesn't actually seem to smell bad, and a cluster of plants on a hillside, as shown here, can make quite an early display even though the flowers are not as large as other hellebores and are mostly green. Any feedback from other zone 4-5 gardeners?

1 comment:

Eric said...

We're 5b, and still have lost H. foetidus. H. orientalis and H. niger varieties are somewhat susceptible, but generally fare well and even re-seed with some success. But the stinking hellebore looked great for about three years and then froze out here, too. Haven't tried it for a number of years, and I'd like to think my gardening skills are better now, but I somehow doubt that skill had much to do with it.