Sweet Spots

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Part of the charm of hellebores comes from the variety of markings and colourings on the petals. The two flowers photographed here came from a friend’s garden. At first glance they look like they might be the same flower, but take a closer look and you can see small differences.

The top flower has larger, more diffuse spots that merge with the dark veining of the petals. You can see that the hellebore at the bottom has smaller specks of crimson that don’t obscure the petal’s veins as much. Tiny differences, but they add a lot to the appeal of a group of hellebores growing together.

A very similar hellebore is this little spotty one from my own garden. As the flowers on my plant get older, they become a lot paler than the flowers here. (EDIT: I’ve added a photo of the stages of this hellebore in my garden, so that you can see what I mean. The flower on the left side is darker when newly opened but will become a bit lighter as it develops.)

Pink-spotted hellebore flowers.
Three stages of a flower – you can see how much darker the newly-opened flower on the left is.

It will be interesting to see if any seedlings develop from it and the other hellebores growing nearby because they’re all quite different from each other. Maybe I’ll eventually have a family of related plants that have interesting variations like the hellebores in these photos.

Pink hellebore flower
From a friend’s garden: a pretty pink hellebore flushed with tiny crimson spots.