At what time are the Hellebores ready to pollinate?...I have some and would like to give it a try. Are there certain temperatures that this might depend on?
Basically as soon as, or even a few days before they open, the stigma is receptive to pollen. This is of course if you have pollen available. The pollen is not released from the anthers until the flowers have been open for some time, several days in good weather generally and longer in much colder weather. One generally grabs a few anthers from the pollen parent flower, and puts the pollen on an almost opened or freshly opened seed parent flower. You might have to watch closely to get the pollen, as bees swipe most of the pollen rapidly if they can.
Thank you george, We are in the N.W. It is so damp and wet here yet that I don't think I will have to worry about bees for awhile yet. This is what has been giving me the questions about when to hybridize...I guess I will have to wait for a dry day and see what I can do. The flowers are blooming now and have been for a coupla weeks, again thank you.
sassafrass, If all you are worrying about is getting some seed set, hellebore flowers are somewhat independent of pollinators. The stigma becomes receptive early, but later the pollen matures, and as the flowers are generally nodding, they readily selfpollinate when the pollen drops down on the styles. Some folks just go by and tap the flowers a few times with their finger to help this a bit. You don't generally have to hand cross them unless you're trying for a specific goal.
Thankyou again George, You have been very helpful, That is good to know, I will do some flower thumping..ha ha ha... I still have some flowers coming. I would like to cross pollinate a few (for different colors)but the main thing is to just get some little ones, so I won't worry now. Will I get different colored babies with selfed x hybridis ? I am new to hellebore, but did buy several different ones last year, I sure did enjoy them this late winter and early spring.. Thank you again