Helleborus - The Evergreen Flowering Perennial for the Winter Perennial Garden


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Welcome to Plant Delights Nursery at Juniper Level Botanic Gardens. We are a private research and display botanic garden located near Raleigh, North Carolina (USDA Hardiness Zone 7b). Our retail mail order division allows us to make the best perennials from our trials available to gardeners around the world, some of which were developed here, some from our plant explorations, and others from breeders around the world. Between 1988 and 2010, Plant Delights Nursery introduced over 500 new perennial plants to US horticulture. In 2002, we were honored to be recognized by the American Horticulture Society for our lifetime of work in commercial horticulture. This image gallery is but a sampling of the great perennial plants available for gardeners around the world. We do not carry all plants pictured at any one time, but since our mission is to educate and inspire, we hope these images and the linked articles below will expand your garden horizons and interest. You will find an array of other interesting information and fascinating perennials throughout our website...thank you for taking time to visit.

Helleborus is a genus of shade plants also known as Hellebore, Lenten Rose or Christmas Rose. Hellebores flower at various times throughout the winter and early spring when there is little else in bloom. In addition to being beautiful, hellebores are deer-resistant and rabbit resistant. Once established, Hellebores are extremely tough and will survive for decades without trouble.

Plant Delights Nursery has a large collection of flowering Helleborus, many of which we grow from seed in-house. We also carry hellebores from the top breeders around the world. In addition to that, our owner, Tony Avent and his plant-collector buddies collect Helleborus species from the wild during their plant hunting expeditions in the native Helleborus growing regions such as the Balkan states. Although these wild collected Hellebores are not immediately put up for sale, they can be seen in the garden during our February open house. We promise that after we evaluate our wild collected Helleborus species that we will make the best of them available to you for purchase. We will also incorporate them into our in-house Helleborus breeding program to improve our Helleborus x hybridus offerings.

During the winter, hellebores provide a splash of green in the otherwise barren winter garden. Their evergreen leaves are rougly palm-shaped and grow up to 1.5' tall and while a hellebore will never win a beauty contest against a rose in June, it certainly wins beauty contests in January. In addition to the evergreen foliage, hellebores usually flower sometime between Christmas and Easter (which explains the common names christmas rose and lenten rose) with colorful flowers in shades of white, pink, purple, and yellow...with or without spots.

Try pairing hellebores with carex, hosta, asarum and adonis for attractive leaves or flowers 12 months of the year. We think that you will especially like Helleborus in those dry shade sites under trees that many perennials have trouble with.

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