Product Profile: Hellebores

23/02/2017 - 07:27

Hellebores are the focus of this month’s Product Profile. You’ll find them in abundance at New Covent Garden Flower Market at the moment, both as cut flowers and plants.

Look out for this very pretty variety called Helleborus orientalis ‘Queens Light Pink’.

Helleborus orientalis Queens Light Pink at New Covent Garden Flower Market February 2017

Background

From the Ranunculaceae family, the botanical name Helleborus is derived from the Greek words elein meaning ‘to take away’ and bora, meaning ‘food’. The root of the plant induces vomiting, hence the name’s origin.

With photogenic, five petalled flowers in a range of colours including pure white, cream, pale yellow, green, blush pink and deep plum, you’ll find some are spotted, freckled or bi-coloured. And look out for single and double forms.

Hellebores have distinctive stamens at the centre of their blooms and their flower heads have a tendency to ‘nod’. A popular variety, as a cut flower, is Helleborus orientalis. And you’ll find Helleborus niger with white blooms, which is also known as the Christmas rose.

Cut hellebores are usually available at the market from November/December through to April. Their peak season though tends to span February and March. Hellebore plants, on the other hand, are generally available from October/November until February/March.

Types

CUT FLOWERS

Helleborus orientalis ‘Queens White’

Helleborus orientalis Queens White at New Covent Garden Flower Market February 2017

Helleborus orientalis ‘Double Ellen White’

Helleborus orientalis Double Ellen White at New Covent Garden Flower Market February 2017

Helleborus orientalis ‘Queens Yellow’

Helleborus orientalis Queens Yellow at New Covent Garden Flower Market February 2017

Helleborus argutifolius

Helleborus argutifolius at New Covent Garden Flower Market February 2017

Helleborus sternii

Helleborus stern at New Covent Garden Flower Market February 2017

Helleborus orientalis ‘ Queens Picotee’

Helleborus orientalis Queens Picotee at New Covent Garden Flower Market February 2017

Helleborus orientalis ‘Queens Light Pink’

Helleborus orientalis Queens Light Pink at New Covent Garden Flower Market February 2017

Helleborus orientalis ‘Double Ellen Pink’

Helleborus orientalis Double Ellen Pink at New Covent Garden Flower Market February 2017

Helleborus orientalis ‘Queens Red’

Helleborus orientalis Queens Red at New Covent Garden Flower Market February 2017

PLANTS

British Plants

Helleborus 'HGC Champion'

British Hellebore Plant Helleborus HGC Champion at New Covent Garden Flower Market February 2017

Helleborus x ballardiae 'HGC Merlin'

British Hellebore Plant Helleborus x ballardiae HGC Merlin at New Covent Garden Flower Market February 2017

World Plants

Helleborus niger

Helleborus niger at New Covent Garden Flower Market February 2017

Helleborus ballardiae 'HGC Cinnamon Snow'

Helleborus ballardiae HGC Cinnamon Snow at New Covent Garden Flower Market February 2017

Helleborus orientalis 'Victoria - Joie de Vivre'

Helleborus orientalis Victoria Joie de Vivre at New Covent Garden Flower Market February 2017

General Advice

Hellebores can occasionally be a little bit temperamental and wilt prematurely. To remedy this tendency, florists have several different tricks up their sleeves. Here are some tips on how to condition them or revive them to their former glory if they’ve started to droop.

Once you’ve removed any surplus foliage, cut the stem both at a slant and up. Then place the stems in boiling water for 30 seconds. Wrap the flowers tightly in paper, place in warm water and leave overnight.

Another method is to wrap them in paper and cut the stems at an angle. Then place them in a tall vase with a good depth of cold water and leave them for a few hours.

You could also try searing freshly cut stems by carefully using the flame from a match. Or some people even recommend immersing the whole flower briefly in cold water.

Design Inspiration

Hellebores look wonderful arranged on their own, such as for a bridal bouquet. But they’re also lovely to combine with other dainty blooms such as astrantia, anemones or ranunculus in a mixed handtied or low tablecentre.

Here are some examples of beautiful designs featuring hellebores…

Kitten Grayson Instagram

(Source: Kitten Grayson)

McQueens Instagram

(Source: McQueens)

That Flower Shop Instagram

(Source: That Flower Shop)

Grace & Thorn Instagram

(Source: Grace & Thorn)

Paula Pryke Instagram

(Source: Paula Pryke)

Bloomsbury Flowers Instagram

(Source: Bloomsbury Flowers)

Wild at Heart Instagram

(Source: Wild at Heart)

Jay Archer Instagram

(Source: Jay Archer)

Paul Thomas Instagram

(Source: Paul Thomas)

Jens Jakobsen Instagram

(Source: Jens Jakobsen)

Your Designs

We'd love to see photos of arrangements that you've made using hellebores from New Covent Garden Flower Market. Simply send an email to hello@cgma.co.uk, stating your company name and website address. Or if you prefer, you could post your photo on Instagram or Twitter and copy us in, by tagging @MarketFlowers. We'll then upload your photos into this section.

(Source: MeadowSweet)

(Source: The Topiary Tree)

I hope you've enjoyed reading this month's Product Profile. Please do ask away below if you have any questions or would like to make any general comments. As always, we'd love to hear from you...

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