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Re: hum.../hellebores

> From: Gene Bush <genebush@otherside.com>
> named color stains. I am told first bloom of the plants is not
always a good
> indicator of the final color and look of a bloom once the plant is
> mature, so sometimes patience is required. Don't know as I am a
great big
> believer in that one, though. In spite of what some of the experts
have to
> say.

Well, Gene, I sure ain't no expert, but that has been my experience. 
In fact, you sent me one once and the first year it bloomed I was
ready to pitch it - thought it was pretty ugly; flowers sort of mingy
and a dirty color but I left it and after its 2nd year in the ground
it turned into a winner; now it's this huge clump and it's flowers
are gorgeous deep red purple.  H. atrorubens of gardens I think it is
(without going to check the name; could be off there spelling-wise). 
The divisions I've gotten from Graham have all been the same.  The
first year flowers are not the same as those once the plants are
established.  I really think hellebores - at least they hybrids -
need some patience.  I don't find that with H. foetidus 'Wester
Flisk'...I grew that from seed and all plants, whether originals or
self sown, seem to put out the same quality flowers their first year
as they do in subsequent years.  Now, of course, those flowers do
change over the life of the flower, like all hellebores.

I have well over a hundred seedlings in the ground and I sure hope
some of them think about blooming this year - but absolutely no signs
of any flower buds on anything but my oldest x hybridus - well, and
the H. foetidus 'Wester Flisk'..everybody else (even those from
established plants that I know will bloom) are just exhibiting rather
weather beaten foliage at this point.

Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
Editor:  Gardening in Shade
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