Helleborus 'Grape Galaxy'
Photo Courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.
| ||Series Name: WINTER THRILLERS™ Series|
Common Name: Lenten Rose
This vigorous grower produces an abundance of very large 3½”, grape purple flowers heavily spotted with dark purple flecks on every petal. Bright green nectaries contrast vividly in the center of each dark colored flower.
Mature plants can have over 50 flowers in bloom at once! Strong stems hold the flowers well above the evergreen foliage so they are sure not to be missed.
Hellebores are the harbingers of spring, blooming for six weeks or more beginning in late winter. They are often flowering during the Christian season of Lent, from which they get their common name, Lenten Rose. This is the perfect plant for naturalizing in moist, woodland areas where its extensive root system will spread as far as it is allowed.
Intro Year: 2010
Breeder: Chris Hansen
Origin: Not Native to North America
Sun or Shade?:
Part shade (4-6 hrs. direct sun)
Full shade (< 4 hrs. direct sun)
Wet or dry?:
Low water needs
Average water needs
Need critter resistant plants?:
How fast should it grow?:
When should it bloom?:
Looking for seasonal interest?:
Evergreen (in some or all zones)
How's your soil?:
Sweet or Sour Soil?:
Neutral Soil (pH = 7.0)
Alkaline Soil (pH > 7.0)
What's your garden style?:
Helleborus WINTER THRILLERS™ Series from hybridizer Chris Hansen
Chris began his passion for hybridizing Hellebores while living in hot, humid, and deer-infested South Carolina. He began by searching out the most vigorous, largest flowering Hellebores and started breeding for pure color strains. After more than 15 years of careful hand-crosses and record keeping, we are proud to offer his new Winter Thrillers™ Hellebores to our customers.
Chris is constantly striving to improve flower color, flower size, plant vigor, and foliage. Individual colors in the WINTER THRILLERS™ series range from the heavily spotted ‘Ice Follies’ (everyone’s favorite of the series) to the rich garnet red of ‘Red Racer’ with its gigantic 3.75” flowers! Since the seed is the F3 generation, all of the named varieties come true to color. 10--15% will bloom the first year, followed by 100% bloom the second year.
Immense flower size is a major goal of Chris’ breeding program and we were simply amazed that he has managed to breed giant 3-4” flowering Hellebores when we visited his breeding greenhouses right here in Michigan! ‘Pink Parachutes’ flowers routinely measured 3 ¾” across! And they are held atop very strong, non-flopping, flower stems that can reach 18” tall and appear well above the foliage.
Tremendous plant vigor is essential in Chris’ breeding program and he continuously rogues his Hellebore stock block to destroy any plants which have the slightest weakness in growth habit. The day we visited, he had already set aside several immense flowering stock plants that didn’t meet his rigid vigor standards and were headed for the dumpster. And no dumpster-diving is allowed!
Look for more exciting new Hellebores from Chris Hansen in the future!
Hellebores are enjoyable to grow because they are low-maintenance and disease/pest-free. Simply trim back last year's foliage in the spring. They can adapt to almost any growing conditions. Though they prefer rich, moist, organic soil, they will also grow in sandy or clay soil. They can even tolerate short periods of drought. The soil pH can range anywhere from slightly acidic to slightly alkaline.
Hellebores are shade plants that need to be protected from the hot afternoon sun. They will grow in full shade under large deciduous trees as long as they receive full sun from winter to spring before the trees get their leaves.
To increase the number of hellebores in your garden, mulch them heavily in the fall. The new seedlings will grow in this mulch come spring and can then be transplanted elsewhere in the garden. WARNING: Hellebores are poisonous. Do not consume any part of the plant!
In popular legend, Lenten Rose were blooming outside the stable in Bethlehem, hence the name "Lenten" rose. However, Hellebores aren't native to that area.