Reader Soundoff: Will Hellebore Be The Next Echinacea?

Helleborus 'Winter Gems Painted'

Is hellebore all set to become the next big perennial? Greenhouse Grower columnist Allan Armitage thinks so,

“In my opinion, helleborus is the next echinacea, which in its turn was the next heuchera,” says Armitage, professor emeritus at the University of Georgia. “Hellebores are a group of plants that everyone is paying attention to and breeding. I think helleborus is the next biggie.”

Our readers shared their thoughts on our article, “Will Hellebore Be The Next Echinacea?

I think you are right about hellebores. I have several (the older types) in my shade garden, along with pulmonaria, and it makes for a nice visual in early spring. I look forward to new varieties to add to the garden!
– Karen Gardner

Echinacea has been tissue cultured by several labs in the U.S. and done so well. I have not seen hellebores that multiply easily in TC. Perhaps there are varieties that are easier to TC that await micropropagation. If so, this would be of interest to those labs producing perennial landscape plants.
– Ray

I certainly hope helleborus does not become the next echinacea. With most of the hybrid echinacea being especially horribly prone to virus infections, I am having to second think about even selling echinacea. We have weakened pulmonaria and heuchera to make them nearly useless in the long-term perennial landscape. Let’s not do the same with helleborus. Pretty flowers and foliage are short term. Disease and pest resistance and durability are the desirable traits for the landscape.
– Steve Lesch

What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

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