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Behind the Bloom: Hellebore

Behind the Bloom: Hellebore

| Rosie Jeffares-Levitt

A distinctive bloom like the Hellebore elevates a spring bouquet. They have such an interesting shape, with cup-like flowers that are ever-so-slightly drooping. 

I love to mix them with frittilaria, daffodils with their regal crowns, and other early blooms. Hellebores add to the party of spring colours, curious shapes (hello flaming parrot tulips!), and bobbing heads.

The nodding blooms of Helleborus orientalis remind me of their tiny cold weather cousin, the snow drop. Like the snow drop, hellebores are among the first to bring life to gardens after a long winter. They range in colour, from white and pink to deep purple and burgundy. They may be frilly, single or double petalled, and their many stamens perform a delicate dance. 

As a cut flower, hellebores can last up to two weeks. Keep in mind they like it cold! Place your vase out of direct sunlight and, as always, change the water and re-snip the stems often. You may find the flowers harden off. Flowers like hellebores and hydrangeas can become more turgid, and slightly dry to the touch, over time. Often hellebores are the last to fade in my own bouquets at home. 

It's worth noting that hellebores are toxic if ingested. Also, some people may be sensitive to the sap. You might want to wear gloves when working with hellebores. But please don't overlook this darling bloom if no children or pets are at risk. If you're like me, you might have a new favourite spring flower! 

• Rosie, owner Quince Flowers

behind the bloom: hellebore

Botanical Blog

Written By: Rosie Jeffares-Levitt

A collection of blog posts written by one of Toronto's top florists. With two on-going blog series, the first about flowers called Behind The Bloom & the second about plants called Plant Life.