Friday, February 20, 2009

Pleased To Meet: Helleborus x hybridus 'Velvet Lips'

The top feature in the 2009 Heronswood catalog is Helleborus x hybridus 'Velvet Lips' which they bred and developed through tissue culture. Grace Romero, the lead researcher for Heronswood and also point person in charge of designing the trial and display gardens at Fordhhok Farm (Burpee's original estate), has this to say about the introduction: “Hellebores clones like this one are best in a landscape, when planted in drifts. We place hellebores in part shade, preferably where there is more of a slope. Here, we used the red hellebore as an understory ground cover to contrast with: Elaegnus pungens 'Clemson Variegated' with waxy, bright yellow-centered, green-edged leaves; Viburnum rhytidophyllum 'Cree' with bluish-green leaves and bronzy stems; Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Kamani Hiba' with finely-dissected golden-yellow leaves which soften the rather shaded spot. The olive green leaves and stalks of the Hellebore 'Velvet Lips' highlight similar undertones in the companion plants.”


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