Thursday, February 2, 2017

jacob, joseph and nell

Jacob, my earliest hellebore, is fading. That spell of warm weather really had them fading to pink and green. It feels like they blew fast, but then again, they started coming out at Thanksgiving. I shouldn't complain about 2 months of bloom.

This is my "new Jacob" whose flowers had trouble clearing the leaves. I assume this was due to being in brighter conditions, so that the leaves were upright.

And here is my "old Jacob." The first plant I bought, in shadier conditions, the leaves stretch out and the blooms form a nosegay in the center.

'Champion' is a hybrid that I purchased mislabeled as 'Jacob' (I never trust big box stores, so this was no surprise). It opens with a green tone to the flowers that becomes more widespread as the flowers age and fade. I'm not that fond of the color, but the flowers have a nice crisp form and very durable wax-like texture.

Another H. niger cultivar, 'Nell Lewis', from Pine Knot. This one has been slow to grow for me. Only this year (after 3 years) has it had a decent flower. Maybe I need to fertilize. Flowers are larger than 'Jacob'. As you can see, bees have no trouble finding hellebore flowers.

'Joseph Lemper' is the brother of 'Jacob', but rather different in character. Flowers are larger, and less numerous. He also seems to be less vigorous, at least for me.
Although hellebores come in many different styles and colors, I'm most fond of the crystal white and very early H. niger cultivars. My H. orientalis hybrids will bloom in another month and even of those, I only grow the white ones. Hey, it's what I like. Maybe one day I'll branch out into other colors. There are some delicious ones at Pine Knot.

1 comment:

  1. Woo hoo! The only disadvantage of this spring-like spell in mid-winter is those fading in brightness.