Green Flowered Hellebores

helleborus-corsicus.jpgThe herbaceous perennial helleborus is represented by 20 or so species.  It is a member of the ranunculus family.  This incredible picture of a flower of Helleborus Corsicus, from, tells the tale.  Hellebore flowers are comprised of 5 sepals, which persist in fruit.  The fact that hellebores emerge from the ground and bloom very early in our gardening year is plenty enough reason to grow them.  But the fact that the 5 sepals hang on for months-during and after the time that the flower sets seed-is even more compelling. The lustrous green foliage grows vigorously, and persists in my garden throughout the winter.  My plants are virtually care free.  They get sun, adequate moisture, and are protected from winter winds by an old stand of dwarf spruce-picea mucrunulatum.  I have never divided them, nor do I feed them.  I do spend plenty of time looking at them-they are that good looking.

helleborus argutifoliusI had a mind to grow helleborus argutifolius, as I am very fond of green flowers.  This species grows quite tall, and features shiny and spiny leaves.  I had no idea at the time that hellebores are divided into 2 groups-those that bloom on the leaf stalks like helleborus argutifolius, and those whose leafless flower stalks emerge from the ground in the spring.  I was never successful with this hellebore-the Michigan winters invariably rotted the buds before they could open in the spring.  I finally ripped them all out, in favor of those hellebores whose flowers were kept safely below ground until the freezing winter weather had passed.

helleborus-viridis.jpgHelleborus viridis is fairly uncommon in the garden.  It is usually the darkest green, and the shortest of the green hellebores.  You can find excellent photographs and descriptions via Graham Rice.


Helleborus orientalis has in recent years been the subject of considerable hybridization.  You can find beautiful green hellebores for sale at Carolyn’s Shade Garden, Pine Knot Farms, Plant Delights Nursery, Fraser’s Thimble Farms and Arrowhead Alpines.  If you love green flowers, and perennial plants that are beautiful the entire season long, try some green hellebores.  To follow is a collection of pictures that will give an idea of wide a range of green flowering cultivars are available.




early-and-late-green-hellebore-flowers.jpgThis picture from my own garden shows the flower in full bloom on the left, and the sepals still intact on a flower from the same plant on the right.

double-green-hellebore-flowers.jpgMany of  these pictures come from – an excellent reference, if you are looking for more information.

pale-green-helleborus-orientalis.jpgThis photo is from  My hellebores at home are just beginning to throw their flower stalks.  The next month will be such fun-watching them develop.

green-hellebore-flower.jpgThese flowers are incredibly beautiful.  Looking fore a plant that is worth all of your love and then some?  Try a hellebore.




  1. Wow! Wonderful green hellebores! Sorry that helleborus arguitfolius doesn’t work very well in your climte. In warmer areas the great wide clumps of leathery evergreen foliage are as woderful as the blooms. Happy spring!

    • Deborah Silver says

      Peter, That argutifolius was a monumental failure-in spite of all the love, care and winter protection I lavished on them. I am not talking 1 plant here-I had 25. My landscape superintendent ripped them out while I was at work one day-relieving me of my misery. I so had to have them, and they so disliked me. Hope springs eternal-that would describe a gardener. I envy you your fat clumps of leathery foliage! – Deborah

  2. I thought I would try the other hellebore one more time and ordered one from PDN last year. This one turned out to be under the tree that fell during December’s big storm and pretty much appears to have been dealt a death blow from ladder legs to say nothing of the winter. Their more ferny foliage is so lovely but I think, like you, I have to admit we just live in the wrong climate.

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Linda, maybe the wrong climate for some hellebores, but the right climate for so many other things. I feel so sorry for gardeners who cannot grow peonies! Deborah

  3. Hi there – you seem to be a “Hellebore Whisperer” and I wanted to ask you a question… we have 2 lovely Hellebore argutifolius (I think, I don’t recall exact species but they do have light green flowers) and one of them has stopped blooming.

    They are side by side in garden (18″-24″ apart) and have always flowered. Each look as healthy as any plant in a shop, but one had beautiful flowers and the other does not have a single bud…

    Any idea what might have happened or how to fix?

    Would love some input.


    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Dee, I have no idea why one would bloom, and not the other-especially not knowing where you live, or the light conditions. I know that argutifolius blooms on the previous years stems.Maybe someone local to you could help. best, Deborah

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