Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Self-sown hellebores

Over the past few weeks I've been taking photos of self-sown seedlings of hellebore hybrids in the cottage garden as they come into flower for the first time. These are a selection.


  1. I have been purchasing many hellebores over the past few years and was trying to decide what to do with the self-sown seedlings that are becoming prolific. After seeing this post, it is obvious that chances are they are worth retaining... do you recommend moving them away from the parent plant? Thanks and I do enjoy your blog a lot... Larry

  2. John,
    These make me smile as we have 400-500 seedlings out there in the garden right now. The double is stunning, same with most of these, all keepers.

  3. I wrote a post called "An Ode to Seed Strain Hellebores", making the points that many glorious plants arise that way and that tissue culture will end that. Your photos certainly support that. I especially like the petaloid forms and have a few photos of some special plants on my current post for GBBD. Your ears were probably burning today because we had a snowdrop lunch at Susan C's and your name came up frequently. It was wonderful.

  4. Didn't your bees do well. Fabulous selection.

  5. @Larry: transplanting seedlings will probably give the best results and avoid crowding the plants.

    @Randy: keepers perhaps, but only if Black Death doesn't get them. The first symptoms are already visibble in flowers 2 and 4.

    @Carolyn and Anonymous: the critical thing is to have only good parents in the garden and even then the majority of the seedlings are worthless.

  6. John re your comment to Carolyn. Very true. The best breeders in the Northwest are ruthless with rouging out mediocre seedlings from superior (as Hyacinth Bucket would say) parents, which sometimes can be as high as 50% even in the best strains here. Most breeders never sell a plant without seeing a flower first.
    That said, you've done very well in your selections.
    Now if we can get breeders to breed for colorful backsides - on the petals, I mean! Not as in Baboons.

  7. @Jim: the only selections here are the pictures - these are as they've grown in situ from seed.


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