February 20, 2011

Winter Jewels Double Hellebores

Here are some photos of the double Winter Jewels hellebores that I saw at the Northwest Garden Nursery in Oregon. I didn't stop to write down names to go with the pictures, and there's variation within each named group, so I'm giving my best guess as to the names. I believe the one above would be 'Onyx Odyssey'.

Here are flowers from the six plants that I lugged home with me on the plane. In the center is an 'Onyx Odyssey', and clockwise from the white 'Sparkling Diamond' you can also see what might be a 'Harlequin Gem', light pink 'Cotton Candy', green 'Jade Tiger', and 'Peppermint Ice'

I had imagined the plants coming in little 4" pots, but the smallest size was a 1 gallon, and most of these were in 2-gallon pots. I removed the pots and some extra soil (though the pots were mostly roots), wrapped the root balls in plastic grocery bags, and carefully packed them into a giant tote bag. Somehow they fit - mostly - under the airplane seat as my carry-on. My arms are sore today from carrying that heavy bag around!

Here are some other pictures of double-flowered types. Above is a 'Peppermint Ice'. Visiting the nursery was quite an adventure. It was out in the middle of nowhere, and by the time I arrived at 10:05 am (5 minutes after opening on the first day), there were already over a hundred people crowded into the tiny greenhouse, picking through potted hellebores.

I think the one above would be 'Berry Swirl'. I spoke briefly with Ernie O'Byrne, one of the owners, and he told me that last year they had 1300 plants out for the first day of their open house. During the two hours that they were open that day, they sold all but 40.

Here is 'Golden Lotus'. Based on my experience, I would recommend that you get there early on the first day if you ever decide to go to their open house. Otherwise there won't be much left.

Here is another 'Golden Lotus'. You can see the variation within named groups, as the first plant has a bit of burgundy around the edges of the petals (tepals), while the second plant is entirely greenish-yellow.

I'm guessing that these next two photos show 'Cotton Candy', though the online photos of CC don't show any quite like these. Many of these hellebores were growing in the gardens surrounding the nursery, so I imagine that not all of them fit into the named groups.

I also took photos of single-flowered hellebores and wider views of the gardens. I'll do two more posts to show all those pictures.

Here is a lovely 'Berry Swirl' plant. I think it might be more sophisticated to admire simple, single-flowered hellebores, roses, peonies, etc. But I can't help but fall for the frilly doubles.

Here is another 'Onyx Odyssey' plant, this one more black than the maroon one at the top of the post. Honestly, I don't think there were any double-flowered plants that I didn't want to take home with me - plus plenty of the singles, too! But I'll have to be happy with my half-dozen . . . and look forward to interesting seedlings in the years to come.


  1. Did you go to Oregon just to shop for Hellebores? Wow are they beautiful!! I've never seen so many doubles to choose from. So far I just have one, but hopefully will find some more to add to it.

  2. hi vw, wonderful looking flowers - the effort to get them worth it. personally i love the black ones best. cheers, cm

  3. Hi VW,

    Wonderful photos of gorgeous flowers! Very pretty indeed, I hope you get plenty of interesting hybridsin the future from your plants.

  4. These are absolutely beautiful. Your pictures are sight for tired eyes.

  5. Catherine, yes, I did go just for the hellebores. My husband agreed that I needed a little adventure, and this was so exciting to me. He wants to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro someday for adventure, and I was happy to visit Eugene to buy plants . . . to each his own, I guess! He suggested I calculate the cost of each plant, including the airfare, hotel, gas and rental car. Gulp. But I think the memory is worth something, too.

  6. VW, they are so very pretty. Yes, Americans are finally falling head over heels for hellebores and for good reason. They are such a cheerful way to get through winter.~~Dee

  7. Dang those are gorgeous! I don't have any hellebores - they are on the list.

  8. Well worth the trip! They are splendid!

  9. What a pretty collection of Hellebores. I just planted three more into my garden. Think I needed some in bloom as the ones I had in the garden already still aren't in bloom.

  10. Beautiful varieties! I’ve awarded you the Stylish Blogger Award – you can visit Garden Sense to learn more. If you’d rather not participate, no problem. But I hope more people will discover your great blog!

  11. Hey VW girl I just commented on your post above and mis-identified the ones I have .. Berry Swirl and Peppermint Ice are the right names .. I juggled them around ? White Diamond is one I am looking for now .. aren't they all just gorgeous ? Congrats on getting them home with you !! I would have loved being there too : )

  12. Gorgeous hellebores, VW! I am in the process of acquiring some new ones here but haven't decided if I'm going to get any double's yet. Only 2 of my plants are in bud or bloom...and I am not sure if the rest are going to put out buds this year or not.

  13. They are very pretty. Like all of your pictures!!
    It's fascinating to see what cultivars you have there.. I think your yellow-violet combination was perfect! (Usually...i don't like yellow ;))

  14. What great Hellebores, we should email, one plant junkie to another. I make an annual pilgramige to an east coast source. I'll head there in about two weeks. thanks for the fix.


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