Hellebores in bloom

xanadu(8/9 N.CA)February 10, 2006

Just had to comment on my first Hellebore hybrid blooms. I bought seeds from ET several years ago and got almost 100% germination, then somewhat neglected them so this is the first year I have had blooms. What fun to see how they turned out! These are my first ever Hellebores so I don't have much to compare them with. Out of the 30 or so plants, perhaps 70 percent are blooming this year and I have two stunning (to me) double white/green vigorous plants, a lovely plum double and many clear (not muddy) plum singles. I was surprised at the consistency, I thought the seedlings would be more variable. Nevertheless, they are certainly as nice as any of the singles I have seen in the local nurseries and doubles are simply not available.

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mollywood(z6 KY)

Do you have any pictures?

    Bookmark   February 10, 2006 at 10:42PM
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Loretta NJ Z6

It would be great to see some pics as so many of us started these seeds! Glad to hear they are beautiful. Are all the rest plum singles? What seed type did you originally purchase? Thanks for letting us know.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2006 at 5:19PM
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xanadu(8/9 N.CA)

Sorry about not responding earlier. I am struggling with dial-up and computer ignorance in order to post pictures but I am working on it.

I must say, after taking pictures of all Hellebores that bloomed (40+) I have to retract some of my statements. They are lovely, better quality than what I see in my local high-end nursery (at $19.00 apiece!), and there is much more variety than I at first realized. I think I was disappointed at not getting more doubles and semi-doubles, but when I looked at the photos and reviewed my poor notes, I think I got as many as could be expected from 20 seeds or less, plus some will not bloom until next year. I also spoke too soon, before some were out. Of those that bloomed about four have deformed or just plain ugly flowers but even those may improve next year. The rest are lovely, like I said.

I purchased the doubles, semidoubles, spotted and the generic, I forget the strain. Mixed reds, mixed colors, etc. so I was expecting serious variety. I will keep working on uploading pictures, I think I am just too impatient for dial-up.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2006 at 1:00PM
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jgwoodard(USDA z7 TN)

I would like to comment on this as most of mine have bloomed and some bloomed last year. Some of the plants are very nice and some are not good at all in my opinion. I have heard very mixed reports, but some of this is related to individual expectations and experience. My experience is that ET is a good source for getting double genes in the garden. However, in general the range of hybrids is very small compared to some other sources, and I'm not overwhelmed by the quality of the singles or semi-doubles (I've heard one trusted source describe them as "garbage" though my experience hasn't been so bad, perhaps because of different expectations).

I do feel good enough that I ordered seed again this year (I did not in the previous two years as I wanted to see results) but only of specific ranges, mostly various doubles and some they sell under species names. I also ordered several of 'Melissa' as it seems interesting and is not an intermediate color. I stayed away from darker colors as from my viewpoint they are quite muddy appearing and in the intermediate mauve-magenta range typical of many hybrids. I got no true darks from their seed.

I will try to post a few photos in the gallery to show a few in the near future. I do not have photos of all of them as there are hundreds but will try to get more as this is important information to share. One more note that's important: When plants bloom for the first time sometimes they can look deformed. I had many bloom in the second year and some of them looked horrible (to my eye) but this year are somewhat better.

One thing I do like about ET is that they do not post lots of photos of plants that are perfect and better than you can expect from seed. If you like what you see on their website then feel confident ordering. The form and color range displayed on their website I feel is mostly accurate and is not different than you can expect from many sources. Mostly the overall range is just white to plum with spotting etc. Just realize that 'dark' here does not mean violet-black and 'red' means mauve-magenta. So I give them a mixed score, as mentioned a good source for getting double genes in the garden. It is interesting as I remember the excitement several years ago when many of us ordered these seed. 'Mrs Betty Ranicar' is a solid and proven parent, and ET was one of the first to ship internationally to general gardeners and offer us seed. But much of that excitement was not based on actual experience growing from seed. Now we will begin to see results as more of these seedlings commence flowering on the next several years. The very nature of hellebores makes it challenging to begin with when using seed.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2006 at 1:10AM
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xanadu(8/9 N.CA)

I finally got pictures posted online. I added a link in the post titled Pictures.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 6:31PM
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