It’s show time! And Helleborus niger ‘Maximus’ ready for its close-up.

By | news, Paul's Plant Picks | Tags: , | March 15, 2013 | One comment

After months of winter, the days are getting longer and the temperature finally feels like it is on the rise. Could spring be in the air? Well, based on all the chatter and music from the singing birds in the garden each morning, I think it must be.

Another sure sign of spring is all the excitement and last minute preparations taking place for this year’s Canada Blooms. The show’s theme this year is the “Magic of Spring” and the official flower of the show is the hellebore. In the TBG gardens, select hellebores have been in bud and flower for many months, well insulated beneath the generous blanket of snow that protected them against the many nights of bitter cold and freezing temperatures that we have experienced this year. Above, the simple and beautiful white blossoms of Helleborus niger ‘Maximus’ have come through the winter with just a few blemishes. I have been a longtime fan of this genus of plants, not only for their lasting winter and spring blooms but also for the wonderful display of rich green foliage they offer in the late summer and fall garden.

Head Gardener Sandra Pella and I continue to work with our rather tight garden budget to add selected plants to the TBG gardens. This year, we are planning to acquire a few more hellebores. And, if everything goes according to plan we will also have a number of hellebores on display (and some for sale, while supplies last) in our booth at Canada blooms (G5), such as:

  • Helleborus ‘Anne’s Red’, a new selection with burgundy-to-red single flowers
  •  H. ‘Spring Party’, with creamy white blooms H. ‘Pirouette’, whose pink flowers open to white blossoms, then mature to a dark pink
  •  H. ‘Onyx Odyssey’ from the Winter Jewels TM Series, with deep purple-to-black double flowers
  • H. ‘Peppermint Ice’, also from the Winter Jewels™ Series, with pink flowers edged in dark rose
  •  H. ‘Cinnamon Snow’, whose pink flower buds yield cream-coloured flowers. This one is a personal favourite, which I photographed on a recent trip to Humber Nurseries. (seen above)


Share this Article

Paul Zammit about the author: Paul Zammit

Paul Zammit is the Nancy Eaton Director of Horticulture at the Toronto Botanical Garden. A graduate of the University of Guelph, Paul was formerly employed at Plant World, a large retail garden centre where he was the perennial department manager. He is a regular speaker at garden clubs and horticultural trade shows across Canada and in the United States. He has appeared both on television and in print.

  • Ana Reim

    At the Canada Blooms show, I could not figure out why everyone was so excited about predominantly this plant… Now I get it, thanks!

TORONTO BOTANICAL GARDEN, 777 Lawrence Avenue East, Toronto, ON CANADA | 416-397-1341 |