Penny - this post's for you

I’m still on the hellebore thing, and have just today got my hands on the most sensational macro lens – two good reasons to show some pics of Helleborus ‘Penny’s Pink’.  A third and altogether poorer reason is to sort out once and for all if commenter Penny needs to grow this thing.

There’s been some criticism of Penny’s Pink that its a bit on the dark and murky side.  The truth is that like most darkish pink hellebores, its not going to sing in the garden like the whites or yellows, but in the light of what I wrote last post, I can’t stop looking at it.  This is something near the colour of the flower when it first comes out (above).

Then once the stamens have fallen, and those petals (sorry, sepals) start to mature in the manner previously discussed, they look, from the back, like this

They’re just so fabulously matte, with that whitish bloom on the surface like a purple grape.

For all you hellebore freaks out there – what do you think? Just too flat, dark and sober, or brooding and mysterious?

Added later:  pic of a larger part of the plant – you can’t get any idea of a plant from short-focus macro stuff.  Also, I didn’t muck around with the white balance on the camera for this pic, and it looks a little redder here than it actually does…


  1. This is deliciously subtle, yet rich – and a lovely contrast to the more illuminating ones. As they don’t grow happily in our warm climate, it’s always a treat to see them naturalised in cool climate gardens.

  2. I ADORE it… slightly ridiculous name… but Santa has it on top of my Christmas list!

    1. Agree with you about the name, Penny. It was named by the breeder, Rodney Davey, who is fabulously free from concerns about marketability. He has developed a truly astonishing and break-away branch of the hellebore family tree, with flowers that carry marbled foliage and flowers of amazing colour saturation. ‘Penny’s Pink’ was named after Penny Hobhouse, and the yet-to-arrive-in-Aus ‘Anna’s Red’ after Anna Pavord.

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