Sunshine Farm and Gardens: Rare and Exceptional Plants
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Home : Focus on Hellebores : About Double Hellebores

  I'm completely enthralled with double Hellebores. The term double is a bit misleading, though. It would normally refer to a plant whose sexual parts have become petaloid. A good example of a true double would be Sanguinaria canadensis 'Multiplex' This is a plant with no sexual organs and can only be propagated asexually, i.e., by division.

I've been fooling around with doubles since the early 90's when Matthew Bishop gave me a plant of H x hybridus 'Gunther Jurgl'. Elizabeth Strangman gave me a piece of the 'Montenegran Double' and a piece of the original 'Queen of the Night'. I obtained 20 different 'Party Dress Hybrids' and I hit the ground running. In January of 1997, I made 2700 controlled and recorded crosses from these plants and some of their progeny and have been selecting from the resultant 21,000 seedlings over the last two years. These were the parents of our latest doubles that you see in our Hellebore Galleries.

An important point to consider when looking at a Hellebore flower is that the colorful parts of the flower are not petals, they are sepals, like the green bud protecting the petals on a rose. The petals are aborted in the center of the flower and are referred to as nectaries.

In what we refer to as 'Anemone Centered' Hellebores, these nectaries have started to become petaloid and have taken on the color of the sepals.

I find it interesting that the doubles live up to the common name that has been put on Helleborus x hybridus, 'Lenten Roses', as in this form they really do resemble roses.

Our Hellebore Galleries features our latest doubles, semi-doubles, and anemone-flowered Hellebores.

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Barry Glick, Sunshine Farm and Gardens
696 Glicks Rd, Renick, WV 24966, USA
Phone: (304) 497-2208

Last modified February 24, 2009