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Helleborus 'Apricot Blush'

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Photo Courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.
 Series Name: WINTER JEWELS™ Series
Common Name: Lenten Rose
Common Name (Alternative): Hellebore

'Apricot Blush' was hybridized by Marietta O'Byrne of Eugene, Oregon.  Marietta has spent over 15 years pursuing her passion for hellebores, meticulously selecting and hand-crossing only the best stock plants which she has gathered from around the world. 

The new ‘Apricot Blush’ was one of the O’Byrne’s top sellers during their Hellebore Open Garden Days and it’s easy to see why.  The unique coloration of this variety is perfectly described by its name.  Since it is from seed, each flower is a little different but all ‘Apricot Blush’ flowers fall in the color range of peachy yellow to apricot with varying degrees of bright rose veining, speckling, and picotee edges.  Often the backs of the petals are marked with red pigments as well, which is a lovely touch for these downward facing blossoms.  ‘Apricot Blush’ produces very large single flowers measuring about 3-4 inches across.  It is an exceptionally vigorous selection that grows much like ‘Cherry Blossom’, a pink member of the series.

Remaining true to her German heritage, Marietta is very precise in her methods, keeping detailed breeding records and exact labels on all of her crosses, and maintaining excellent cultural practices.  Her goal is to develop true color strains of hellebores which are vigorous growers and produce large flowers with a rounded form.  Only the most profuse bloomers make the cut in Marietta's breeding work.

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: 2009

Breeder: Marietta O'Byrne

Origin: Not Native to North America

Characteristics:



Height:
  18-22 Inches
Spread:
  24 Inches
Flower Color:
  Peach shades
Foliage Color:
  Green shades
Hardiness Zone:
4,5,6,7,8,9
Find Your Zone
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?:
  Deer resistant
  Rabbit resistant
How fast should it grow?:
  Slow
When should it bloom?:
  Early Spring
  Mid-spring
Looking for seasonal interest?:
  Evergreen (in some or all zones)
How's your soil?:
  Average Soil
  Fertile Soil
Sweet or Sour Soil?:
  Neutral Soil (pH = 7.0)
  Alkaline Soil (pH > 7.0)
What's your garden style?:
  Container/Patio
  Woodland/Shade
  Cottage
  Eclectic

Attributes:

Border plants
Container
Cut flower or foliage
Drought Tolerant
Evergreen
Mass Planting
Salt Tolerant
Easy to grow

Grower Note:

For best bloom performance the first year, we recommend potting liners up in early fall.  If potted up in 1-gallon containers early fall, about 20-25% should bloom the following spring.  This is a remarkable percentage relative to other hellebore strains.  Liners potted up in spring will bloom the following spring.

Homeowner Growing & Maintenance Tips:

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!


Companions:

Common/Botanical Name
Zones  
Dicentra eximia 'Snowdrift'
Common Name: Bleeding Heart-Fringed
3,4,5,6,7,8,9
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Corydalis lutea
Common Name: Corydalis-Yellow
5,6,7
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Tiarella 'Spring Symphony' PP12397 COPF
Common Name: Foamflower
4,5,6,7,8,9
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Astilbe 'Sugarberry' PP20674
Common Name: Astilbe
4,5,6,7,8,9
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Aquilegia vulgaris 'Clementine Red'
Common Name: Columbine
3,4,5,6,7,8,9
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Hosta 'First Frost'
Common Name: Hosta
3,4,5,6,7,8,9
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Pulmonaria longifolia 'Roy Davidson'
Common Name: Lungwort
3,4,5,6,7,8,9
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Fun Facts:

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.

While every effort has been made to describe this plant accurately, please keep in mind that the height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates throughout the country. The description of this plant was written based on our experience growing it in Michigan (USDA hardiness zone 5) and on numerous outside resources.