April 24, 2012
'Golden Lotus' Hellebore - Winter Jewels Series
This beautiful 'Golden Lotus' hellebore has been blooming for over a month in my spring garden. It is one of the double-flowered 'Winter Jewels' series from the O'Byrnes in Oregon. Since it is a seedling line, the flowers show variation from one plant to another, with some having none of the maroon edging shown here.
It's amazing how long each flower lasts, partly because the temperatures are so cool during bloom time. As they age, the flowers turn green. These photos were taken over several weeks and show the aging progression.
The height is 18 inches and the width is 24 inches when mature. My plant has been in the ground for a year and a half, so it's still working it's way up to full size.
The leaves are lime green. I'm not sure if every plant in this line has light leaves or not, but they're a nice contrast to the darker leaves of some of my other hellebores.
I understand that some breeders are working to develop interesting leaf variegation among hellebores now. I don't think the leaves will ever be able to steal the show from the flowers, though.
It's no wonder that hellebores are so popular right now in the gardening world. Not many plants can boast such gorgeous, long-lasting flowers in early spring on plants that thrive in dry shade.
I have also been taking photos of my other hellebores throughout their bloom sequences to give a better feel for each cultivar, and will post those in coming weeks. I often search for that information myself before buying a new plant, so I'm glad to share it with other gardeners.