Say "Good-Bye" to winter with a display of these colorful hellebores. The Winter Thrillers series hybridized by Chris Hansen belongs to the orientalis group of hellebores, commonly known as Lenten Roses. Chris' passion for hybridizing hellebores began while living in hot, humid, deer-infested South Carolina. For more than 15 years, he has searched for the most vigorous, largest-flowering varieties and has constantly strived to improve flower color, bloom size, plant vigor and foliage. The result are these named varieties that are large-flowered (many blooms are over 3" across), richly colored and incredibly floriferous with unmatched plant vigor. They often bloom for over 3 months, beginning in midwinter in mild climates and late winter of early spring in areas where the ground freezes hard. Their glossy, palm-like, evergreen foliage remains attractive nearly all year. The plants expand over the years to form large clumps 18 to 22 inches tall. With hardiness that ranges from Zones 4 to 9, these hellebores can be grown successfully almost anywhere in the US.
Culture of Helleborus orientalis is easy. They like partial shade and moist, highly organic, well-draining soil, but aren't particularly fussy, often thriving in heavy clay or sand. As plantsman Allan Armitage states in his book 'Armitage's Garden Perennials', "I am hard-pressed to come up with any problems that beset the Lenten Rose. They persist for years, reseed easily, welcome spring even in the snow, remain in flower and fruit for months, and blend in to the rest of the landscape once their day in the sun is complete." Whether you plant one color or all seven varieties offered, you'll appreciate the fuss-free beauty they add to your landscape.
Photos courtesy of Chris Hansen.