Hellebores - Great Perennial Plants for the Woodland Garden


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Welcome to Plant Delights Nursery at Juniper Level Botanic Gardens. We are a private research and display botanic garden located near Raleigh, North Carolina (USDA Hardiness Zone 7b). Our retail mail order division allows us to make the best perennials from our trials available to gardeners around the world, some of which were developed here, some from our plant explorations, and others from breeders around the world. Between 1988 and 2010, Plant Delights Nursery introduced over 500 new perennial plants to US horticulture. In 2002, we were honored to be recognized by the American Horticulture Society for our lifetime of work in commercial horticulture. This image gallery is but a sampling of the great perennial plants available for gardeners around the world. We do not carry all plants pictured at any one time, but since our mission is to educate and inspire, we hope these images and the linked articles below will expand your garden horizons and interest. You will find an array of other interesting information and fascinating perennials throughout our website...thank you for taking time to visit.

If you like shade tolerant, winter blooming, deer-resistant plants then Hellebores are for you. Also known as Hellebore, Lenten Rose or Christmas Rose, Helleborus plants flower at various times throughout the winter and early spring when there is little else in bloom.

It is a real treat to walk through your garden in Febrary or March and be greeted with silver-dollar-sized Hellebore flowers in white, pastel yellow, pink, or purple...with or without contrasting spots. A few Hellebores have sweetly fragrant flowers (esp. Helleborus odorus) but most are unscented. One species, Helleborus foetidus, the so called stinking Hellobore, has a slightly malodorous scent that offends some noses and pleases others in the same way that Mahonia or Boxwoods do.

Once established, Hellebores are extremely tough and will make a beautiful 1.5 foot tall clump of dark green evergreen foliage in the shade garden. The foliage is usually shiny and has a stiff, coarse, leathery texture that is shaped like a hand. Although not soft to the touch, Hellebore leaves do provide a nice splash of green in the middle of winter. Some Hellebore leaves have attactive silver veins so that the leaves contribute as much color contrast to the garden as the flowers do.

Plant Delights Nursery produces its own line of colorful hybrid Hellebores from seed and we also carry hellebores from the top breeders around the world. Be sure not to miss our winter open house when we show off (and sell) our Hellebores when they are at the height of their bloom period.

Helebores are perfect for dry shade conditions where little else will grow. However, they grow fastest and produce the most flowers with friendlier conditions...good soil and consistent water. We like to grow hellebores along with hosta, farfugium and heucherella.

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