Hellebores Species and Forms

Kevin Belcher aided by Jill Pearce breed the incredibile range of Hellebores at Ashwood Nurseries

Hellebores are one of the most wonderful early spring flowering plants available but do you ever think about where they come from and how they are bred?


Hellebores: Species, Hybrids and Cultivars


By Howard Drury


There are 22 species, organised into 6 sections by Mathew 1989 Balkans species very variable and revised by Dr Will McEwan 2019


Chenopus H. argutifolius, H. lividus

Dicarpon H. thibetanus

Griphopus H. foetidus

Helleborus H. niger

Syncarpus H. versicarius

Helleborastrum the problem section extending from the Balkan to Spain and Russia containing 16 badly speciated species and a taxanomic problem. This section includes H. abruzzicua, H. atrorubens, H. bocconei, H. coaticus H. cyclophyllus, H. dumetorum, H. hercegovinus. H. istriacus, h. liguricus, H. multifidus, H. occidentalis, H. odorus, H. orientalis, H. purpurescens, H. torquatus, H. viridis

There are two main groups of Helleborus. They are caulescent and acaulescent groups. The acualescent species produce no true perennial stems, while the caulescent species produce long-lasting stems. The rootstock of these two groups also differ. the caulescent species cannot be produced from division.

Acualescent species comprise of  H. abruzzicus, H. atrorubens, H. bocconei, H. cyclophyllos, H. dumetorum, H. hercegovinus, H. liguricus, H. occidentalis, H. odorus, H. orientalis, H. purpurescens, H. thibetanus, H. torquatus, H. versicarius, H. viridis.

Caulescent species include H. lividus, H. argutifolius, H. foetidus. Also includes hybrods such as H. x ballardiae, H. x ericsmithii, H. glandorfensis, H. x lemonnierae, H. x nigercors, H. x sahainii, H. x sternii.

There is an awkward species H. niger which is classified as Acaulescent \ Caulescent.

Ashwood Nurseries offer a fine selection of species, interspecies hybrids and cultivars, many of which are excellent garden plants. They all share a subtle natural beauty and charm, with many varieties having the added bonus of good architectural foliage. Their intensive breeding programme has resulted in some outstanding new introductions. Their hellebore breeder, Kevin Belcher, is extremely proud of his Ashwood Strains of Helleborus sternii and Helleborus niger, as well as his new interspecies crosses Helleborus x belcheri ‘Pink Ice’ and Helleborus x ashwoodensis ‘Briar Rose’. Please be patient if you are interested in these new varieties, as there will always be limited availability.

Hellebore species and their hybrids will generally flower from January to March, depending upon weather conditions and your location and aspect.

Helleborus hercegovinus
Helleborus multifidus
Helleborus versicarius

The Species

Helleborus abruzzicus (Northern Italy)
A hardy and most distinctive green flowered form discovered recently, generally at elevations above 1,000 metres. The almost fern-like foliage is dissected into numerous leaflets which is a very desirable feature. Flowering is somewhat later than most because this plant is winter dormant. 20-30cm (8-12ins)

Helleborus argutifolius AGM (Corsica and Sardinia open rocky hillside and streams up to 7500ft with Euphorbia, C. repandum and Lavendula stoechas) (Caulescent)

A handsome robust, evergreen plant forming an upright clump with prickly greyish-green veined leaves. Large terminal clusters of pale green cup-like flowers. Prefers a well-drained fertile soil in full sun, sheltered from cold winds. Not happy below -10C, dislikes summer wet soil. Prune out old flowering stems in late spring if you do not require seed. 90cm (35ins).

Helleborus argutifolius ‘Janet Starnes’ A fine form with speckled cream splashed pink through the blue green foliage, flowers pale green and better grown in semi-shade. 45-60cm (18-24ins).

Helleborus argutifolius ‘Large Flowered Form’ AGM Raised at Bodnant around 1960 possibly not in cultivation today

Helleborus argutifolius 'Little erbert' A compact bushy form which appeared as a chance seedling at Ashwood. 30-45cm (12-18ins)

Helleborus argutifolius 'Pacific Frost' A variegated leaf form from the garden of Pam Frost in Vancover, British Columbia Canada, which is better grown in semi-shade. 45-60cm (18-24ins)

Helleborus argutifolius 'Silver Lace' A lovely silver-leafed form introduced by Lynda Windsor. 45-60cm (18-24ins)

Helleborus atrorubens (Slovenia and Croatia open woods and upland pasture land with Anemone nemorosa, Galanthus nivalis, Pulmonaria saccharata, Epimedium alpinum and Erythronium dens-canis) (Acaulescent) 

A deciduous species with small 3-5cm flowers on tall widely branched stems in February and March. The flower colour is generally a combination of purple and green, with more emphasis on purple on the outside, and predominantly green within. Slow, but easy to establish, requiring a humus rich, well-drained neutral soil in a sunny or slightly shady position. 30-35cm (12-14ins)

Helleborus bocconeri (Southern Italy) The most garden worthy plant within this species, being more vigorous and having larger flowers.

Helleborus croaticus (Croatia, open woodlands fields and flood plains or terraces of streams with Carpinus, Betula, Anemone nemorosa, Vinca and Caltha also in fields grazed by cattle) (Acaulescent)

A vigorous, undemanding deciduous hellebore recently introduced by Will McLewin. The foliage is very similar to H. atrorubens, while the flowers are closer to H. torquatus. The flowers are usually pendent and rather conical, in shades of purple or reddish-violet outside, and greenish often veined within. Easy to grow, but prefers a sunny position or slight shade with a rich, moist but well-drained soil. 20-40cm (8-16ins).

Helleborus cyclophyllus (Greece and the former Yugoslavia often near sea level in open woodland and low mountain pastures growing with Crocus biflorus, Corydalis cava and Scilla biflora on rocky limestome slopes of scrub, possibly an intermediate between H. odorus and H. orientalis) (Acaulescent)

  The apple-green flowers 5-7cms across are usually flattish or saucer shaped, and are occasionally scented. Up to 7 flowers are carried on widely branched stems. Needs a sheltered position in full sun for best flowers but will grow happily in slight shade but dislikes heavy shade. Less hardy than other acaulescent types. Enjoys a rich deep loam or clay of neutral Ph 24-40cm (10-16ins).

Helleborus dumetorum (The Balkans in woods and fields, occasionally flat sites but generally close to streams, bas of rocky slopes and large colonies with Anemone nemerosa, Galanthus nivalis, Ajuga reptans and Fritillaria meleagris. Tall summer vegetation often protects foliage from bright sunshine, although needs good spring and early summer sun to produce next seasons flower buds. Occasionally through Betula or Carpinus woodland ) (Acaulescent)

The small cone shaped, greenish-white flowers are followed by attractive, slender divided foliage. A deciduous hellebore of great charm and very frost hardy. Grows best in a rich, well-drained soil in an open position, but tolerates both shade and drought. Prefers a lighter soil than other similar species 20-30cm (8-12ins).

Helleborus foetidus AGM (Stinking Hellebore or Bear’s Foot) (Western Europe, Portugal to Hungary and Britain, from sea level to 7000ft amongst Fagus and Carpinus and mixed Pinus sp. woodland, often limestone derived soils with Cyclamen hederifolium and Hedera species) (Caulescent) (Cross fertile and very variable)

An architectural evergreen plant with dark green leathery, divided leaves. The clusters of hanging green flowers edged with purple-brown last from January through to June. A tough native plant that is easy to grow. Prefers light to partial shade in an alkaline or neutral soil that is not too dry, with plenty of added humus. 45cm (18ins).

Helleborus foetidus ‘Bowles’ An older strain originating from Italy and grown at Middleton House with finely divided leaves similar to H. f. ‘Italian Form’

Helleborus foetidus 'Bowles's Cabbage Stalk'     

Helleborus foetidus Bowles's form 

Helleborus foetidus 'Chedglow'     

Helleborus foetidus 'Chedglow Variegated' (v)          

Helleborus foetidus compact            

Helleborus foetidus 'Curio' (v)          

Helleborus foetidus 'Frenchy'           

Helleborus foetidus from Andorra  

Helleborus foetidus from NE Aragon 

Helleborus foetidus 'Geddington Mist'

Helleborus foetidus ‘Gold Bullion’ Distinctive chartreuse-green foliage, golden when young. Avoid full in the middle of the day to prevent scorching. 45cm (18ins).

Helleborus foetidus gold-leaved 

Helleborus foetidus 'Green Giant' 

Helleborus foetidus 'Harvington Pewter'      

Helleborus foetidus Kurt's strain      

Helleborus foetidus 'Marlene'          

Helleborus foetidus 'Melle'               

Helleborus foetidus 'Miss Jekyll'      

Helleborus foetidus 'Pewter'             

Helleborus foetidus 'Piccadilly'         

Helleborus foetidus 'Pontarlier'       

Helleborus foetidus 'Red Silver'       

Helleborus foetidus 'Ruth' Elegant leaves, turning very dark green, forming a wonderful contrast to the bright green flowers. Introduced by Will McLewin. 45cm (18ins).

Helleborus foetidus 'Sienna'              

Helleborus foetidus 'Silvertooth'     

Helleborus foetidus 'Sopron'             

Helleborus foetidus sweet-scented

Helleborus foetidus 'Tros-os-Montes'           

Helleborus foetidus 'Vogezen'

Helleborus foetidus 'Wester Flisk'
This is a superb form, found at a site on the banks of the river Tay in Scotland. The leaves are greyish-green, almost lead-like in colour with deep purple-red stems and leaf stalks. 45cm (18ins).

Helleborus foetidus 'Yellow Wilgenbroek'
Excellent garden plant with new growth flushed yellow maturing to green. Avoid full sun in the middle of the day to prevent scorching. 45cm (18ins).
Helleborus hercegovinus

Helleborus istriacus (North Eastern Italy)
Leaves with fewer divisions, between 10-14 segments.

Helleborus liguricus
A recent introduction to the Ashwood Nurseries hellebore collection with the large flowers that are very pale white-green, and are held well above the foliage. Perhaps the greatest attribute is the relatively strong and sweet fragrance the flowers produce. It has good healthy vigour and longevity. 35cm (15ins).

Helleborus lividus AGM (Majorca) A tender, but very beautiful evergreen Hellebore. The deep green, glossy leaves, red underneath, are marbled with grey and conspicuous silvery-cream veins. Elegant cream-green cup shaped flowers, flushed pinkish-purple are borne in clusters.

An excellent container plant for a conservatory or cold greenhouse during winter, requiring an open, well-drained gritty compost. Plunge outside in a semi-shaded position for the summer. 38cm (15ins).

Helleborus lividus 'White Marble' A beautiful white marbled-leaved selection.

Helleborus lividus subsp. corsicus   

Helleborus lividus dwarf     

Helleborus lividus 'Green Marble'   

Helleborus lividus subsp. lividus       

Helleborus lividus 'Pink Marble'       

Helleborus lividus 'Purple Ear'          

Helleborus lividus 'Purple Marble'

Helleborus lividus 'Purple Rose'         

Helleborus lividus 'Rose Green'       

Helleborus lividus 'Silver and Rose'

Helleborus lividus 'Silver Edge'

Helleborus multifidus A deciduous species, with green flowers that may either be rounded or star-shaped and are faintly scented of Ribes. The foliage is finely divided to varying degrees. Requires a sheltered, sunny position with excellent drainage. 20-30cm (8-12ins).

Helleborus multifidus subsp. bocconei (see H. bocconei)

Helleborus multifidus subsp. multifidus (Croatia) Leaves generally divided with between 20-45 segments.

Helleborus niger Ashwood Strain The Christmas Rose. A very popular and beautiful evergreen plant, not easy to establish in the garden. This selection has well formed, cup-shaped rounded flowers of purest white and strong stems. Grows best in semi-shade, planted in a deeply cultivated, moist but fairly well-drained stony soil, with added humus. Try it against a wall or close to an evergreen shrub. 15-20cm (6-8ins).

Helleborus niger Ashwood Marbled form
A new selection with evergreen green leaves that have a delicate silver marbling. Also featuring our well formed, cup-shaped rounded flowers of purest white and strong stems from the Ashwood Strain.

Helleborus niger Ashwood Pink form Ashwood Nurseries newest introduction of this very popular and beautiful evergreen plant. This selection has well formed, cup-shaped rounded pale pink flowers with a dark central flush.

Helleborus niger 'Allerheiligen'    

Helleborus niger var. altifolius     

Helleborus niger 'Amanda'

Helleborus niger angustifolius      

Helleborus niger Ashwood marble leaf        

Helleborus niger Ashwood silver leaf            

Helleborus niger Ashwood strain    

Helleborus niger Blackthorn Group

Helleborus niger 'Bradfield Double' (d)

Helleborus niger 'Christmas Carol'

Helleborus niger 'David'     

Helleborus niger 'Double Fantasy' (d) 

Helleborus niger 'Double Fashion' (PBR) (d)

Helleborus niger double-flowered (d)

Helleborus niger 'Eifelturm'        

Helleborus niger Farmyard strain   

Helleborus niger from Austria    

Helleborus niger 'Grandiflora'  

Helleborus niger 'Harvington Double Petticoat' (d) 

Helleborus niger Harvington Hybrids A vigorous large flowered strain from Liz and Hugh Nunn.

Helleborus niger Harvington hybrids double-flowered (d)   

Helleborus niger HGC Diva = 'Coseh 990' (PBR)         

Helleborus niger HGC Goldmarie = 'Coseh 2020' (PBR)    

Helleborus niger 'HGC Jacob (PBR)

Helleborus niger HGC Jacob Royal = 'Coseh 240' (PBR)   

Helleborus niger HGC Jasper = 'Coseh 1010' (PBR)  

Helleborus niger HGC Jesko = 'Coseh 1000' (PBR)    

Helleborus niger HGC Joel = 'Coseh 210' (PBR)       

Helleborus niger HGC Jonas = 'Coseh 220' (PBR)      

Helleborus niger 'HGC Josef Lemper' (PBR)

Helleborus niger 'HGC Joshua' (PBR)

Helleborus niger HGC Jubelio = 'Coseh 1030' (PBR) 

Helleborus niger HGC Snow Frills = 'Coseh 230' (PBR)   

Helleborus niger HGC Wintergold = 'Coseh 2010' (PBR)

Helleborus niger 'Higham's Variety'                

Helleborus niger 'Hilnelsncr'        

Helleborus niger 'Hilnelsnobi'     

Helleborus niger Ice Princess = 'Klehh08008' (PBR) 

Helleborus niger 'Innocence'       

Helleborus niger 'Ivory Prince' (PBR)  

Helleborus niger 'Kindly' (PBR)     

Helleborus niger 'Klehh07003' (PBR)  

Helleborus niger 'Klehh08008' (PBR) 

Helleborus niger 'Louis Cobbett'      

Helleborus niger Lynda Windsor Group

Helleborus niger subsp. macranthus             

Helleborus niger macranthus 'Maximus'

Helleborus niger 'Madame Fourcade'  

Helleborus niger Magic Group      

Helleborus niger 'Mailante' (PBR)

Helleborus niger marbled leaves    

Helleborus niger 'Marion' (d)      

Helleborus niger 'Maximus'      

Helleborus niger 'Mini Blanc'   

Helleborus niger 'Mini Star'            

Helleborus niger 'Mont Blanc' 

Helleborus niger 'Mr Poë's Variety'

Helleborus niger 'Nell Lewis'    

Helleborus niger pink-flowered  

Helleborus niger pink-flushed    

Helleborus niger 'Potter's Wheel'

Helleborus niger 'Praecox' 

Helleborus niger 'Ras Buis'

Helleborus niger 'Rising' (PBR) 

Helleborus niger 'Saint Bridgid'   

Helleborus niger 'Schneeball'

Helleborus niger 'Shining' (PBR)  

Helleborus niger Snow Bird = 'Hilnelsnobi' 

Helleborus niger Snow Crystal = 'Hilnelsncr'          

Helleborus niger 'Snow Moon'   

Helleborus niger St Lucia = 'Hn3815bbs' (PBR)          

Helleborus niger Sunrise Group   

Helleborus niger Sunset Group     

Helleborus niger 'Trotter's Form'    

Helleborus niger 'Verbty2' (PBR)   

Helleborus niger 'Verbty3' (PBR)   

Helleborus niger 'White Christmas' (PBR)

Helleborus niger 'White Magic'  

Helleborus niger Wilder strain  

Helleborus niger 'Wilgenbroek Select'

Helleborus occidentalis Uk. Belgium and Spain. Formerly a sub-species of H. viridis but now recognised as a species in its own right. Dark green nodding flowers, (3.5cm diameter) which appear in clusters on long stems. Smaller in stature than H. viridis with distinctively divided and serrated deciduous foliage, and having a more westerly distribution. Best planted in a semi-shaded position in a heavy, humus enriched soil, which does not dry out. 20-30cm (8-12ins). 

Helleborus odorus (Balkans) A showy, easily grown, early flowering hellebore. Large green flowers, 5-7cm in diameter, often smelling of blackcurrants and tend to be outward facing. The new foliage is often covered with silvery hairs. Prefers either partial shade, or a rich soil in full sun. 50cm (20ins).

Helleborus orientalis subsp. abchasicus (Russia - West Caucasus) This hardy subspecies is easy to grow, free-flowering and long-lived. Flowers generally mulberry purple and the foliage can be almost deciduous. 30-45cm (12-18ins).

Helleborus orientalis subsp. abchasicus ‘Early Purple’ An excellent garden hybrid, easy, robust and trouble-free. Long-lasting plum-coloured flowers appear as early as December. An old variety but still worthy of a place in the garden.

Helleborus Profusion Group. These are exciting new hybrids of undisclosed parents and are only available in very limited quantities.

Helleborus purpurascens (Balkans) A charming, subtle hellebore. The cup-shaped flowers are generally lilac-mauve and often green within. The attractive foliage is divided and more palmate. 5-20cms (2-8ins).
Helleborus thibetanus (Sichaun, China)

The delicate looking pale pink veined flowers are bell -shaped and borne in clusters. The conspicuous large bracts have an almost silvery sheen. The deciduous foliage dies down rapidly by the end of July. Require plenty of moisture in the growing season. The seedlings emerge without any cotyledon. 30-50cm (12-20ins).

Helleborus torquatus (Fomer Yugoslavia) A very variable deciduous species. The flowers can be saucer-shaped and outward facing, to nodding and rather conical. The colour varies from green to dark violet-black, sometimes with a greyish bloom. Inside the flower colour may be same, or occasionally veined with purple. The attractive foliage is deeply divided, and generally pedate. A fine garden plant, slow but easy to grow. 20-40cms (8-16ins).

Helleborus vesicarius (Southern Turkey) Small pendent, bell-shaped flowers, green with a reddish-brown overlay; followed by large inflated seed heads. A deciduous, summer dormant hellebore, with bright fresh-green foliage, which requires drying off as the leaves die back. It needs to be pot-grown, using an open, free-draining compost, and should be kept in a greenhouse or cold frame during summer. It requires plenty of water when it is actively growing (from autumn to spring), but as the leaves die off, watering should be gradually be reduced.

Once the plant is dormant, it should not be watered at all until growth resumes in autumn. From autumn onwards, it can go outside in its pot as it is completely frost hardy. Definitely only a plant for the enthusiast! Very limited availability. 45-60cm (18-24ins).

Helleborus virdis (Europe) A charming deciduous, native species with dark green nodding flowers (3.5cm diameter), which appear in clusters on long stems just above the foliage. Best planted in a semi-shaded position in a heavy, humus enriched soil, which does not dry out. 20-40cm (8-16ins).

Helleborus virdis subsp. occidentalis (Europe) See Helleborus  occidentalis.

Helleborus bocconei
Young seedlings in deep modules
Plants take three years to reach flowering

Interspecies hybrids

Interspecies hybrids (All are sterile and do not produce viable seed)

Helleborus Atlas Group. Another interesting interspecific hybrid with large flowers and marbled leaves, the new leaves emerged red when young, ageing to green.

Helleborus x ashwoodensis ‘Briar Rose’ (Helleborus niger x Helleborus versicarius) An exciting new interspecies cross-bred at Ashwood. It has beautiful deep pink flowers with a bold white centre, born in clusters on strong stems. Soft green foliage that is evergreen. Requires a sheltered position with dappled shade and a rich, well-drained soil. A ‘must-have’ plant for the hellebore enthusiast.

Orders are welcome at the only supplier, Ashwood Nurseries, but please be patient as they only have very limited availability. 30 cm (12ins).

Helleborus x ballardiae (Helleborus lividus x Helleborus niger) (Chenopus x Helleborus sections) after Helen Ballard. A compact, bushy evergreen hybrid with marbled, sometimes veined foliage. Small clusters of cream flowers flushed with various shades of pink, which deepen with age, appear from January to March. Slightly tender: we recommend you container grow your plant in a cold greenhouse, porch or conservatory, using open, free-draining compost. 30 cm (12ins).

Helleborus x belcheri 'Pink Ice' (Helleborus nigercors x Helleborus thibetanus) Another thrilling interspecies cross-bred at Ashwood Nurseries. Beautiful clusters of frosted pink flowers, paler within, delicately frilled and veined. The young, evergreen foliage is soft and pale green, faintly mottled with silver; becoming ‘leathery’ and ‘niger-like’ with age. Requires a sunny position in a fertile, well-drained soil.

A ‘must-have’ plant for the hellebore enthusiast. Orders are welcome, but please be patient as Ashwood Nurseries only have very limited availability. 30-40 cm (12-15ins).

Helleborus x ericsmithii (Helleborus niger x Helleborus x sternii) (previously known as H. nigristern after Eric Smith)

A very beautiful hardy hybrid, forming an evergreen bushy plant with attractive, grey-green occasionally marbled foliage. The clusters of large ivory-white flowers, flushed pinkish-bronze or green, deepen with age. Requires a sunny position in a rich soil, preferably moist yet free-draining. 35cm (15ins).

Helleborus x ericsmithii 'Pirouette' A named selection that has white blooms fading to a soft dusky pink. Good vigorous growth, early to flower and very prolific. 35 cm (15ins). 

Helleborus x ericsmithii 'Ruby Glow' A very beautiful hardy hybrid, creating an evergreen bushy plant with attractive pink buds that open to mid pink flowers that slowly deepen to green and deep pink tones in late winter-early spring. It has bluish-green foliage with silvery veins. 35 cm (15ins)

Helleborus x ericsmithii 'Silver Moon' A fine silver-leaved selection. Large ivory white flowers, flushed pinkish-bronze or green, deepening as they mature. 35 cm (15ins).

Helleborus x ericsmithii HGC 'Joker' is one of the most floriferous lenten roses we've ever grown, with well over 100 flowers per clump. Helleborus 'Joker' forms a 10" tall x 18" wide clump of dark evergreen foliage topped, starting in late February (NC), with masses of large creamy flowers with pink flushed backs.

Helleborus x ericsmithii 'Walberton's Ivory Prince' ‘Ivory Prince‘ is bred by David Tristram, son of Major Guy Tristan who named Helleborus ‘niger ‘Potters Wheel’ in 1995 at his Walberton Nursery in England. The parents are according to the plant patent unknown but are hybrids of the species niger, x nigercors, and x ericsmithii. The legal cultivar name is ‘Walhelivor’. This superb introduction has a profusion of ivory white flowers produced early in the season. Attractive marbled foliage. 35 cm (15ins).

Helleborus x ericsmithii 'Winter Moonbeam' A named selection that has white blooms fading to a soft dusky-pink. Good vigorous growth, early to flower and very prolific. 35 cm (15ins).

Helleborus x hybridus ‘Ashwood Garden Hybrids’ Ashwood Nurseries original breeding programme using various parents gave rise to this outstanding breeding line but now being superseded.

Helleborus x hybridus (Ashwood Evolution Group) Double Yellow Shades. An outstanding breeding line of improved colours, possibly flowering over a longer period. Still in short supply.

Helleborus x hybridus (Ashwood Evolution Group) Anemone forms. The most recent introductions from Ashwood Nurseries arising from the parentage of their true yellow forms of the Lenten Rose, producing outstanding blooms with long-lasting colour and the desirable anemone centre.

Helleborus x lemonnierae (H. niger x H. x hybridus) An interesting hybrid between H. niger and H. x hybridus having large flowers and evergreen foliage. Grows best in rich, well-drained soil in sun or partial shade. Several named clones are available from Ashwood Nurseries.

Helleborus x nigercors AGM (Helleborus niger and Helleborus argutifolius) First exhibited 1931 JE H Stooke) (Flowers Caulescent and Aculescent) (Propagate by division in autumn or micropropagation) A very beautiful hybrid and an excellent evergreen, garden plant. Large ivory, flattish flowers with just a hint of green. The long-lasting clusters are borne in such profusion that you may need to trim off a few leaves to see all the flowers. Prefers a sunny position in a fairly rich soil, which is moist but free-draining. 35 cm (15ins).

Helleborus x nigercors ‘Alabaster’ Raised at Washfield Nurseries using H. n. ‘Potters Wheel’ as seed parent

Helleborus x nigercors ‘Blackthorn Strain’ A seed strain raised each year with flowers either pure white or green and white.

Helleborus x nigercors 'Candy Love' A named selection with masses of creamy-white flowers held above the compact greyish-green foliage. Long flowering from December to March. 35 cm (15ins).

Helleborus x nigercors 'Snow Love' A named selection with a profusion of creamy-pink blooms fading to chocolate above green foliage that is red veined. Long flowering from December to March. 35 cm (15ins).

Helleborus (Rodney Davey Marbled Group) A new hybrid group of beautiful evergreen interspecies hybrid Hellebores bred by Rodney Davey and the result of a 12-year breeding programme in Devon. Through licensing, there are many named clones available, but the following are regarded by some as the best and are of the breeder's work. 

Helleborus (Rodney Davey Marbled Group) 'Anna's Red' A new evergreen interspecies hybrid bearing a profusion of red flowers from February to April. In spring, marbled foliage emerges, flushed pink when young. 35 cm (15ins). 

Helleborus (Rodney Davey Marbled Group) 'Penny's Pink' A new evergreen interspecies hybrid bearing a profusion of pink flowers from February to April. In spring, marbled foliage emerges, flushed pink when young. 35 cm (15ins).

Helleborus x 'Snow White' (Helleborus niger x Helleborus orientalis)
A stunning free-flowering hybrid producing a profusion of star-shaped ivory white flowers over a very long period. 35 cm (15ins).

Helleborus x sternii Helleborus argutifolius and H. lividus of the Chenopus section can be crossed either way to give H. x sternii, named after Sir Fredrick Stern in whose garden it originated. It has given rise to many desirable strains. It must be remembered that H. lividus is not very hardy while H. argutifolius only slightly hardier, coming from Crete and Corsica respectively.

Helleborus x sternii Ashwood Strain Ashwood’s beautiful improved strain has been produced after several years of reselection and breeding. Lovely greyish-green marbled leaves are conspicuously toothed. The small green cup-shaped flowers are flushed-pink. A slightly tender plant, best in a sheltered, sunny, well-drained position. We find it performs best under the canopy of a needle conifer, e.g. pine or cedar. 30-40 cm (12-15ins).

Helleborus x sternii Beatrice Le Blanc Strain, An Ashwood introduction that flourishes in John’s garden underneath a large cedar. Excellent vigorous form with purple stems and pewter foliage. 45 cm (18ins).

Helleborus x sternii Boughton Beauty Strain, Another compact strain with fine slate-grey foliage, stained red underneath. Dark red stems, and flowers flushed with purplish-pink. 45 cm (18ins).

Helleborus x sternii ’Bulmers Blush’ Narrow marbled leaves red stems and chartreuse flowers ageing to dusky pink, raised by Mrs Bulmer from seedlings sold at plant fair and introduced by Ashwood Nurseries

Helleborus x sternii ‘Honeyhill Joy’ Raised by Jim & Audrey Metcalfe in Oregon, micro propagated by Terra Nova for commercial release a most striking plant with good vigour. Grey green leaves and numerous cream blooms

Helleborus s sternii ‘Ashwood platinum Strain This very beautiful strain has been produced at Ashwood Nurseries after many years of selection and reselection and breeding. Lovely lightish green marbled evergreen leaves that are conspicuously toothed. The same green cup shaped flowers are flushed pink. A slightly tender plant that is best in a sheltered position. At the Nurseries, this plant performs best under a canopy of a needle conifer, such as a pine or cedar. 

Helleborus x sternii 'Silver Dollar' Quite outstanding with bright silver serrated leaves and small green cup-shaped flowers flushed with pink. 35cm (15ins).

Helleborus x 'Walberton's Rosemary' (Helleborus niger x Helleborus orientalis) A first-rate introduction very free-flowering, producing a profusion of star-shaped pink flowers over a very long period. 35 cm (15ins).

Helleborus 'Anna's Red'
Helleborus x sternii
Helleborus x billardiae 'Merlin'

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Howard Drury, Horticultural Broadcaster, Speaker, Lecturer, Writer, Adviser and Consultant

Morningside, 8, Bagnell Road Kings Heath Birmingham B13 0SJ

Telephone 0121-443-3212 Fax 0121 441 2760 Mobile 07710-038-467

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Howard regularly gives talks and lectures on Hellebores throughout the country as well as leading Hellebore tours around Ashwood Nurseries Hellebore growing areas.

The information given in this Fact Sheet is provided in good faith.  It is however of necessity general information and advice on the topic.  Howard Drury will not be under any liability in respect of the provision of such advice and information, and you are strongly advised to seek independent advice on any particular gardening problems or queries you may have, preferably from experts who can (when appropriate) inspect the problem before providing advice.

© 2022. This material has been produced by Howard Drury and must not be reproduced in part or full without the written consent of Howard Drury, Kings Heath Birmingham, B13 0SJ.



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