Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flowers - Helloborus hybrids

Thank goodness for gardening.  You've always got something to do when you have a big garden.  Various cultivars and wild flowers are making their spring appearance, more or less right on time based on past flowering data.  Here and there around our gardens are clusters of hellebores, great big buttercup family flowers and they are really tough, but not actually too cold hardy.  TPP can remember seeing hellebores in flower for the first time. And while it was obvious what family they were in, they did not grow in upstate NY so these were new to me.  They are nearly evergreen herbs and are one of the earliest plants to flower, and for some people their greatest value is that bunnies and deer don't find them very palatable.  The plants are slow to get established but once you've got them going, they'll come back for years, and even produce new plants from seed.  The biggest problem is that they do not make good cut flowers and the flowers on the stems are pendant or just plain droopy.  Some of the newer cultivars hold their flowers up better than others such as the ones featured here today (sorry, lost the name if it ever had one).  And it you didn't know this, the flowers lack petals, but the colorful bracts last a long time.

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