Originating from one of the country's top hellebore breeders. Hellebore Black Beauty is a choice variety. The deepest plums and purples open from slate coloured buds, many plants having the extra bonus of the dark foliage of their parents.
'Black Beauty' is a hardy perennial suited to a site in dappled shade, preferably under deciduous shrubs or trees and make wonderful underplanting, which has semi-evergreen foliage, and flowers between November and April, sometimes later depending on the weather.
This delightful plant grows to around 45cm (18in) high when in flower and forms dense clumps to 50cm (20in) wide.
Hellebores are the harbingers of spring, with their flowers showing themselves from mid winter, and well into the spring showing of bulbs. One of the most stunning forms "Black Beauty" associate beautifully with snowdrops, Erythronium, Primula, Pulmonaria and Tiarella.
Sowing: Sow seeds immediately upon receipt, at any time of year.
Hellebore orientalis seeds are collected in June. If they are planted in the first few months, they will germinate quickly in around 30 days. Once the weather starts to get cold in autumn, they will go dormant and delay germination until the weather warms up in the spring and conditions are more favourable.
Text books quote germination as ‘irregular’ and advise 30 to 545 days, in our experience 30 to 180 days is usual, dependent on the time of year that they are planted.
Sow in moist John Innes seed compost or something similar, place each container in a polythene bag or place a plastic lid onto the container. Place in a cold greenhouse or coldframe. The compost should be kept moist but not wet at all times.
Some of the seeds will germinate straight away, some during the spring and summer, any remaining seeds may lay dormant until the following spring. If any seeds do not germinate in the spring keep them in cool moist conditions throughout the summer.
As each seed germinates transplant it almost immediately into its own 7.5cm (3in) pot to grow on. These strong plants need more nutrients and water than small cells can provide. Keep seedlings in a well lit place, but out of direct sun.
Gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 10 to 15 days before planting out, space 30cm (12in) apart.
If your soil is high in organic matter, and has a fairly good water holding capacity, then Hellebores will grow wonderfully in your garden. Hellebores have a deep growing root system and they will benefit greatly if the area is prepared before planting. Double digging the area (digging out one shovel depth of soil, and then digging up the second layer of soil, and then putting the top layer back on and digging it all together) with additional organic matter is of great advantage. Add some sharp sand if your soil is especially heavy and sticky.
Hellebores prefer a neutral to alkaline soil Ph (they will grow in a slightly acidic Ph soil too). Mushroom compost or well decomposed garden compost is good as an additive.
Hellebores are Mediterranean plants, and they prefer moist but well drained soil, a period of drying our between watering is of great benefit to good overall growth.
Cut down flowers as they are over to encourage basal growth or leave to set seed. Once the plant has flowered and new foliage shows signs of emerging, you can cut away the old leaves.
Hellebores will set seed with new plants coming up around the main plant. Seedlings are easy to transplant to other parts of the garden.
Plants resent root disturbance and are slow to re-establish when divided and are best left undisturbed for 6 to 7 years before being divided. Should you ever have to move a plant, dig a ball of earth around its roots as you would for a shrub.
Do not use chemical fertilisers as it is extremely sensitive to them and burns easily. Stick to dressing with compost or aged manure in the autumn.
Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower Arranging, Flowers Borders and Beds or Under-planting roses and shrubs.
As a cut flower, these flowers float on water and will stay fresh for many days. Take care when handling the plant as it may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction.
Please take care when handling as the plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction.
Helleborus orientalis is native to areas of Eurasia including Greece, Turkey and the Caucasus region. There are many hybrid versions of this plant. Depending on the hybrid, the leathery, mid to dark green leaves may be deciduous or overwintering.
Helleborus x hybridus is the name given to a group of variable, clump forming, perennial hybrids of H. orientalis and other species. The name has only recently been accepted and many labels in the gardens identify plants as Helleborus orientalis.
Helleborus are member of the genus Ranunculaceae, the Buttercup family.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 10 Seeds Family Ranunculaceae Genus Helleborus Species X hybridus (formerly orientalis) Cultivar Black Beauty Common Name Hellebore, Christmas Rose, Lenten Rose
(formerly Helleborus orientalis)
Hardiness Hardy Perennial Flowers Deepest plums and purples Natural Flower Time Mid winter to late spring Foliage Semi-evergreen, many have dark foliage Height 45 to 50cm (18 to 20in) Spread Forms dense clumps to 50cm (20in) wide. Position Partial Shade to Full Shade Soil Prefer rich, moist but well drained soil, Time to Sow Sow seeds immediately upon receipt, at any time of year. Germination 30 to 545 days. Dependent on time of year planted.