A difinitive listing of the Helleborus Gold Collection® varieties, including some size and growth information.
Helleborus niger ‘HGC Jacob’®:
This plant is characterized by smooth, dark green foliage with striking white 2-3” flowers that face the viewer. The plant impresses us with as many as 15-20 flowers visible at one time. It has a compact habit growing to 6-8” in the garden with lots of flowers. The flowers mature to pink and rose color in cool temperatures. In warmer temperatures they mature to light green. This variety begins to flower in mid to late November in cool greenhouses and should be made available to retailers at that time. Garden response will vary based on your local climate. In milder climates like the coastal northeast, Mid-Atlantic States, gulf coast states and Pacific Northwest the variety should show garden response in November. If you live in the colder climates of the north the flowers may not show until milder spring weather in the garden. The plants have returned in ‘Zone 5’ trials at Cornell University, Ithaca and as far south as Ft. Myers, Florida.
Helleborus niger ‘HGC Josef Lemper’®:
This variety has large leaves that are light green. It has large 3-3.5” white flowers that face the viewer. The plant will grow to 8-10” in the garden. There will be several visible first year flowers that face the viewer when grown in a cool greenhouse. The flowers begin to appear in this environment in early December. Garden response will vary based on your local climate. Regional response will be similar to ‘HGC Jacob’. You can expect ‘HGC Josef Lemper’ to respond a couple of weeks later. The flowers mature to a darker green on strong stems. This variety is a very strong perennial and makes a wonderful flowering groundcover in the garden.
Helleborus x ericsmithii ‘HGC Silvermoon’®:
This plant has elongated silvery-green leaves and clusters of creamy white 2-3” flowers that open above the foliage. Each stem has multiple flowers on it. The flowers emerge from the center of the plant. A well-grown plant can have as many as 20-25 flowers on it at one time. The plants stand 10-12” in the garden. As the flowers mature in cooler temperatures they turn pink into a dark burgundy. In warm temperatures they mature into a green flower. If produced in the greenhouse in frost-free conditions they begin to show their flowers in early to mid-January. In the cold northern gardens this variety will not show the flowers until springtime. If the viewer lives in those more temperate climates mentioned in the descriptions above one can expect this plant to show it’s faces in the January garden as well. The flowers have a great shelf life and carry into the spring once flowering.
Helleborus, interspecific hybrid ‘HGC Cinnamon Snow’®:
This new variety from Heuger breeding is a worthy addition to the ‘Helleborus Gold Collection.’® It combines positive characteristics of two different helleborus species. It is a well-behaved plant with a uniform, compact habit. It has large 3-3.5” flowers that open with a tinge of pale yellow that turns into a cinnamon color as it matures creating a unique look. The variety has a lot of flower power and their large faces look right at you above the dark green leaves that have reddish stems. It is a new variety so time will teach us lessons. Our trials have shown that forced in cool greenhouses the flowers show in late December or early January. Garden trials will be executed in 2009 in North America and we will publish the results when they are available. The family blood lines lead us to believe the varieties will be strong but we must to our homework before we promise the gardener.
Helleborus, interspecific hybrid ‘HGC Pink Frost’:
This is another great addition to the Helleborus Gold Collection® from Heuger breeding. There will be high hopes for this variety as it has some great characteristics. The plant is aggressive and has lots of flowers. The flowers are numerous and have a unique pinkish-white two tone effect when they first open. As the 2-3” flowers mature they darken to a deep red on the plant. The plant stands 12-14” tall in the garden and has a good presentation in the container at retail. It will do well in large containers as well. Forced in frost-free conditions the plants should be available for retail in late-January into February. They should have great Valentine’s Day appeal for the retailer. This variety will be tested in gardens across America in 2009-2010 and we will publish these results as well. We are expecting good garden performance for this variety as well.
Helleborus x nigercors ‘HGC Green Corsican’:
This is one of the most vigorous varieties in the collection and it has excellent garden performance. The plants have long, serrated leaves that are light green. The flowers arch over the canopy with multiple two-inch flowers on each stem. There can be as many as 25-30 flowers open on this plant at one time. The plant stands 13-15” in the garden. It is very full in containers. This plant can be relied upon to flower in the cool greenhouse in late-February into March. As the flowers mature they turn green, creating it’s name. ‘HGC Green Corsican’ will emerge in synch with crocus in the north. In the more temperate states it can adorn gardens with flowers February through April. This variety has also returned on an annual basis in Ithaca, NY.