While the 'Doubles' could be termed 'the new', the single H x orientalis should
prove to be just as popular due to the introduction of exciting new 'Hybrids'.
One of the greatest difficulties when propagating
the H x orientalis Hybrids, is the length of time it takes to
see the results of your breeding, very few H x orientalis will
flower before their second winter.
We are continually upgrading our Hybrids as
we find better and new ones, some of the original plants we liked
are now in the garden as ordinary plants rather than in the breeding
program. I think we are up to Mark 4 with the 'Yellow' and are
continually looking for better.
One of the interesting developments with H
x orientalis of late, is their potential as a cut flower. Recently
there has been developed a successful method of treating the
flowers to avoid them drooping, which is what has happened after
cutting, in the past.
The need for good clear colouring of these
flowers will become more and more important as the market is
developed and this is another reason we want to be more in control
of our breeding program.
For a number of years we couldnt provide a White H x orientalis. Some of the problem stemmed from the fact that the spotting in hellebores can be quite dominant and all our plants ended up White Spotted. We have now bred one line that is giving us a good pure White and another that provides fine spotting. The flowers are also quite rounded. As with many hellebore flowers, the White fades to green on maturity. Same rules apply when it comes to siting the White Hybrid. Plenty of organic mulch, sun isnt an issue if there is some shade at the days hottest time, but most importantly, dont plant in a site that isn't free draining.
We originally imported the seed for this hybrid from England. A very strong plant with flowers that are of good flat form on a strong, tall stem. Coloured apricot on the front with an interesting red blush on the back. There is some variation in this line, some are more apricot, but those that are less, have very attractive redder backs. There is also a hybrid, although in small numbers as yet, that has very attractive gold nectaries. We are also getting some interesting yellow hybrids from this line.
There is a lot of
variation in this particular hybrid and while we have named one or two of them, there are many that appear randomly. Includes slate-grey, blue-black, burgundy, claret. Can also have a varying degree of spotting. Our aim is for the darkest possible i.e.
Another in our range of Dark Hybrids. Includes the popular Pinwheel hybrid that has a flat flower, very even in it’s petal distribution and good deep dark colour. Also includes the smokey greys which we sometimes refer to as ‘Slate Grey’.
Not common. Plant is always a little slower, usually needing another year than
most H x orientalis hybrids, to establish in the garden. Good clear green on long stems. Also have a variation that
has darker nectaries. Can be left in pot for a year to promote root growth. Dont get too wet!
Another new hybrid we got from England. Very exciting. We are getting some
amazing new variations from this line. A very delicate maroon edging on the pure
white petals makes for a very attractive flower. Look out for new plants in this
range in years to come.
While we call this our Yellow, Primrose would be more accurate description.
To bring out the yellow you need to have it in the sun rather than shade, the
sunlight tends to intensify the yellow. Needs good drainage to avoid root
damage. We have continued to select superior plants over the years, and now have hybrids that are more vigorous and better colour. Also available in 1.0 lt pots, unflowered.