Helleborus Winter Thrillers™ 2.5 stars/ Fair
Flower Description and Bloom Time
Flowering begins in April as the new foliage emerges. The 2.5-inch wide flowers were both single and double. Some plants in evaluators’ gardens had cream-colored flowers tinged with green and burgundy spots. Other flowers were yellow or purple fading to green.
Foliage Interest — Color and Texture
Leaves are mostly 5-lobed with deep separations between some leaflets. They create a coarse to medium texture. Leaflets are 7 to 10 inches long and medium to dark green. New foliage emerges red before turning green. It then stays evergreen well into the winter. According to one evaluator, “The narrow leaflets are distinctive from other hybrid hellebores.”
Habit and Growth Rate Observations
The plants were slow growing and ranged in size from 10 to 14 inches tall and 12 to 16 inches wide. Plants formed a nice mounded mass by midsummer.
Site Preference — Soil and Light
Prefers partial shade with well-drained, clay-loam soil. Good drainage is important. Because flowering was sparse for some evaluators, amending the soil with organic matter before planting is suggested.
Successes and Possible Drawbacks
Plants offer about two months of bloom. Faded, spent flowers remain on the plants. Plants were slow to establish and flowering was sparse on young plants, so gardeners need to be patient.
Notes from Growers/Retailers
Little maintenance is needed other than removing spent leaves in spring.
Pair hellebores with other perennials that prefer light shade and well-drained soil, such as Hosta, Epimedium, Geranium and spring-flowering bulbs.
Parting “SHOT” — The overall evaluation results were Fair.