Propagation (seed, cuttings, etc): Saved by...the seed
Started by: Alan Jones
Helleborus lividusGo to latest contribution by Darren Sleep, 17 November 2011, 15:29. Go to bottom of this page.
In May 07 I purchased Helleborus lividus from the Southport Group?s sales table at their annual national show. I recall paying about £7.00, quite expensive I thought at the time. As no more than an enthusiast, even after growing alpines for 40 years, I knew nothing about this plant. My best information, after investigation, was that it came from Crete [although other references indicate Majorca and possibly a location near Cabrera, Spain] and was tender. I therefore grew it in the alpine house, even though it is open all year round, whatever the weather. My interest in the plant was heightened when I read that one of the Society?s most celebrated lady growers had single-handedly increased the stock of this plant when it was critically scarce and distributed it widely. It flowered magnificently in 2010 and was greatly admired when entered in a local group show. However, as sometime happens when a plant puts on a super show of flower, it soon afterwards decided to take leave of me, but not before producing a small stock of seed, some of which I sent to the AGS seed exchange and some I kept for myself. I now have four recently germinated seedlings coming along; so all is well that ends well. But the point is, one has a ?love affair? with certain plants and their death is hard to bear, but being able to carry on their genes through propagation provides the ultimate satisfaction.
Well done, you sound just like some very proud new grandads I know!
Helleborus lividus is a very lovely plant. I remember visiting Washfield Nursery many years ago and there was a magnificent specimen planted out in a bed in the alpine house. I have never managed to succeed with it outside but grew it for many years on the nursery - the young seedlings have exquisite silver veining in the leaves and can vary quite a lot. If you grow H. niger as well, crossing the two produces a very fine hybrid which is hardy in the garden and wonderfully floriferous.
It is a lovely plant. I no longer grow it but I vividly remember a Morecambe AGS show about 12 years ago when one of our local members, the late Sam Small, brought a huge tray of this in flower, there must have been 30 flowering plants, of excelllent leaf forms, in 4" pots. He intended to donate them to the members plant stall, which I was manning. I watched him approach across the show hall. By the time he reached our stall about 70% of the plants had already been snapped up!