ORNAMENTAL PLANTS OF HORTICULTURE VALUE
Selection of perennials
Christmas Rose, Lenten Rose, Hellebore
About 20 species in Europe and West Asia. The most popular
species is H. niger L. There are 4 species in the FSU.
H. abchasicus A. Braun (H. polychromus
Kolak. p.p., H. orientalis auct. p.p.)
Caucasus (southwestern regions). On forest margins.
Evergreen shortly rhizomatous plant. Leaves coriaceous,
palmatisect, frequently light violet. Shoots bear 2-4 nodding
reddish flowers. Petal-like sepals (perianth) dark-red,
nectary glands (modified petals) funnel-shaped. V - new
leaves develop April, a second generation in autumn. Fl -
April-May. Fr - July. P - by division of rhizome and by seed,
sown fresh in autumn or the next year after stratification.
Mature plants dislike transplanting. Winter-resistant in St.
Petersburg, sometimes suffers during spring frost. A semishaded
site with moist soil is preferable. Recommended for solitary
or group planting. Z 6 (5, 4).
There are many forms of H. abchasicus in nature which
differ in the colour of the flowers. They include:
var. albo-virens Kolak. - pale green or white
var. atropurpureus Kolak. - dark purple violet
var. flavo-virens Kolak. - yellow-green
var. guttatus (A. Braun) Woronow - yellow-green
with dark purple dots
var. nervosus Kolak. - pink, with red veins
var. roseus Kolak. - pale or dark pink
var. roseo-punctata Kolak. - pink, with dark dots
var. roseo-virens Kolak. - pink-green
var. sanguineus Kolak. - blood-red
var. zebrina Kolak. - purple, with dark stripes
All the forms occur mostly in the western Transaucasus
(Abkhazia). Suitable for regions in zone 6 (5).
H. caucasicus A. Braun (H. guttatus A.
Braun et Sauer, H. polychromus Kolak. p.p., H.
orientalis auct. p.p.)
Caucasus (Transcaucasus, Talysh) and Asia Minor. Broadleaved
or coniferous forests.
Evergreen shortly rhizomatous plant 20-30 cm during
flowering. Basal leaves coriaceous, long-petioled, lobate,
20-60 cm x 15-40 cm. Flowers 1-3, large, 4 cm diam. Perianth
lobes greenish or yellow-brown. V - new growth from March in
the wild, from April in St Petersburg. Fl - April-May. Fr -
June. P - by division and by seed. Comes into flower the
fifth year after sowing. One mature plant can have 20 flowering
stems. Z 5 (4, 3).