Winter Thrillers series, Wedding Ruffles - What type?

bveronicoJune 24, 2014

I've noticed that there are different categories such as hybrid, oriental, species and a couple others I can't remember the specific names for.

I ordered my first Hellebore ever, Wedding Ruffles as the subject says, and now I'm trying to research info for diseases and best growing conditions etc but can't find out which category it belongs in.

Is there a website resource for this type of information?

Thank you!

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gardengal48

Nearly all the hellebores you will find commercially available these days will be hybrids. Species hellebores tend to have a less enthusiastic following and a much narrower range of hardiness.

All the Winter Thriller series are varieties of x hybridus or what are sometimes called the orientalis hybrids. These are by far the most popular types of hellebores with a wide hardiness range. And also the largest variety of flower colors. H. orientalis is certainly a player in these hybrids but much more of a minor player than early days. And beware of plants being sold as H. orientalis - they are almost certainly x hybridus. This is an incorrect and out of date label. H. orientalis as distinct species is almost extinct in the wild and extremely rare even in cultivation, with the exception of some breeders. Certainly NOT widely available commercially, if at all.

The other hybrids are also a complex blending of species or other hybrids and go by some strange sounding appellations like ballardiae, ericsmithii, sternii, nigercors, etc. These all tend to have very limited flower colors, white or greenish white being predominant but often aging to a pink or mauve. But they more than make up for their limited color range by having outstanding foliage. Much better than any of the x hybridus.

There was an excellent website on this genus that was developed by a former GW'er, Joseph Woodard, that was a wonderful resource. Unfortunately the website is currently shut down and Joseph is apparently taking a bit of a hiatus but hopes to start a new one soon. In lieu of that, feel free to come here with your questions. The forum is not very active these days but I still stop by regularly to check things out. And while I haven't made hellebores my life work like Joseph, I do know a lot about them.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 5:48PM
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bveronico

Oh wow, gardengal thanks for the detailed info! I have a lot to learn, but hopefully I will now be able to make sure I am aware of possible pests/diseases mine may encounter in the future.

Thank you!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 11:09PM
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