Sunshine Farm and Gardens: Rare and Exceptional Plants
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Rare and Exceptional Plants for the
Discriminating Gardener and Collector

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The "Other" Hellebores

Helleborus foetidus 'Frenchy'
(Click to enlarge)
Poor, poor Hellebore foetidus! Their common name, "The Stinking Hellebore", has caused them to be overlooked as the fantastic garden plants that they are. This incredibly variable species has the most graceful palmate foliage of any of the species within the genus Helleborus and are very easy to grow. There really is no "stink", but if you crush the foliage, you'll get a very strong chlorophyll fragrance. The delicate, sexy foliage is the main motive for growing this plant, but the flowers, which occur in late Winter and early Spring, are interesting also. Another common name for Hellebore foetidus is "The Bearsfoot Hellebore".

Hellebore foetidus is hardy in every state of the U.S. and are perhaps the hardiest of all Hellebores. In most areas, a couple hours of sun are appreciated and only in the deep South do they require full shade.

The only way I've been able to kill a Helleborus foetidus is to plant it in a wet area. Needless to say, good drainage is very important. As far as longevity goes, there's no comparison to Helleborus x hybridus, but they do seed around happily and you'll always have them in your garden.

Variability is the main calling card for this species and there are several named cultivars. These are all seed strains and are not vegetatively propagated, although I've had some success in rooting main stem cuttings.

I'm offering you an opportunity here to own the following plants in sets of 5, 1 each of 4 different cultivars and 1 plant of the pure species. I'll tell you a little bit about each:

Helleborus foetidus 'Miss Jekyll' - 'Miss Jekyll' is named for famous British Plantswoman and garden designer Gertrude Jekyll and has more of an upright, standard, tree like habit, sometimes attaining a height of over 3 feet. The foliage also tends to be more glossy than the species. You can read more about Gertie at

Helleborus foetidus 'Silvertooth' - One of my own selections, all descended from a plant that had a very soft, silvery, greyish cast to the foliage. Check it out - //

Helleborus foetidus 'Sopron' - A selection from world famous Hellebore collector, Will McLewin. 'Sopron' has always taken on a lovely shrub like habit - //

Helleborus foetidus The pure species - As I said, a very variable plant and if you want to have some fun, take a # 7 paint brush when these guys are in flower and dab some pollen from each plant onto the others and you'll get a bunch of different results, all viable plants and maybe one worth naming!

Helleborus foetidus 'Frenchy' The seeds for this selection came from a fellow in the French Alps, hence the name. It has some unique reddish coloration at the base of the petioles. If you'd like to see more images of, see this mini-gallery of Helleborus foetidus 'Frenchy'. You'll be amazed!

A set includes 1 plant each of Helleborus foetidus 'Miss Jekyll', Helleborus foetidus 'Sopron' Helleborus foetidus 'Silvertooth', Helleborus foetidus 'Frenchy', and Helleborus foetidus the pure species.

The prices shown below include FREE SHIPPING on bareroot plants out of their 2" pots. If you would like to receive the plants undisturbed, in their pots, please add .95¢ per plant to cover the extra cost of shipping soil and pots.

Sets Plants  Each Plant    Each Set      Total
1    5       $9.00         $45.00        $45.00
2    10      $8.00         $40.00        $80.00
3    15      $7.00         $35.00        $105.00
4    20      $6.00         $30.00        $120.00
5    25      $6.00         $30.00        $150.00

Ordering couldn't be easier! Just download and print our order form and send it along with your check to:

Internet Order Department
Sunshine Farm & Gardens
HC 67 Box 539 B
Renick WV 24966 USA

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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
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