Looking you in the eye…the new Lenten Roses

We continue to be impressed with the continuing parade of new selections of sterile lenten roses, in particular, the clones of Helleborus x iburgensis. These fascinating hybrids that originated at RD plants in England, are crosses of Helleborus x ballardiae (niger x lividus) x Helleborus x hybridus. In other words, these hybrids have up to 5-7 different species in each.

Because two of the parents, Helleborus niger and Helleborus lividus, both have outfacing flowers, the flowers on the Iburgensis hybrids all carry that trait. Additionally, most every lenten rose cross with Helleborus niger is effectively sterile. Interestingly, Helleborus niger is the most cold hardy of all lenten rose species, while Helleborus lividus is the least cold hardy, but the most heat tolerant.

Below are a series of photos from the gardens here over the last few weeks of some of the clones we have tried. We find these an exceptional group, many with pink to cream variegation, that should be much more widely grown. Hardiness is Zone 5a-8b, at least.

Helleborus x iburgensis ‘Charmer’
Helleborus x iburgensis ‘Dana’s Dulcet’
Helleborus x iburgensis ‘Glenda’s Gloss’
Helleborus x iburgensis ‘Molly’s White’
Helleborus x iburgensis ‘Pippa’s Purple’
Helleborus x iburgensis ‘Sally’s Shell’