Helleborus niger ‘Jacob Classic’ –
(Also known as Helleborus niger ‘HGC Jacob’)
Truly a classic but new, fragrant ‘Christmas Rose’ that is a part of the ‘Helleborus Gold Collection’. Of course Christmas does not come in the middle of winter here in Australia, but these lovely flowers do – so they are a kind of Christmas in July. Gorgeous pure snow white, discs of flowers in the middle of winter. The ‘Christmas Roses’ / Helleborus niger are renowned for their glorious cartwheel spoke centres of showy golden stamens, and ‘Jacob Classic’ does spectacular cartwheels. As the long lasting winter flowers mature into spring, they transform through pretty shades of pink and green. Helleborus niger ‘Jacob Classic’ is a new improvement with scented, larger blooms, facing up and out, on a compact, tough clump of dark green foliage. A truly elegant new plant. Deep Shade to ½ Shade. 25cm. Rabbit resistant. Frost hardy.
Bone hardy & charming
Because they are such a bone hardy, good old fashioned standbys, no garden should be without Helleborus.
They are foolproof, frost hardy, and well able to cope with periods of dry once established.
Winter blooms under trees and shrubs
And there is nothing more charming than the cheerful sparkling white blooms in the middle of winter.
They also look wonderful interplanted with daffodils, as they all carry on together into spring.
Perfect solution for Shade
Helleborus love to nestle under trees and shrubs, where they come into their glory during the winter and into spring.
Then they are no trouble to have filling the space with their evergreen handsome leaves for the rest of the year.
They are especially valuable in Dry Shade areas, and are masters of what is often a difficult spot under big trees.
So they are a splendid sight planted in drifts under established deciduous trees.
– Height with flowers: Large branching heads of flowers on 45cm. approx stems. So they ride high and proud above the dark green foliage.
– Width: Evergreen clump to approx. 45cm. diameter.
Hardy under trees and shrubs
– Position: Deep Shade to 1/2 Shade. Dappled light under trees and shrubs is perfect. They are able to cope well with Dry Shade once they have found their feet and established.
They are also very tolerant of air pollution, so are often used in busy city locations.
– Soil: As natural born woodland plants, they of course enjoy the composty, leaf litter conditions normally found under trees and shrubs. However they are not all that fussy about soil types, or acid or alkaline, as long as they have reasonable drainage. Except sandy soils will require the addition of compost. They dislike being waterlogged, so heavy soils can be made acceptable by the addition of some gravel. Otherwise, Hellebores are really forgiving and obliging.
– Fragrance: Helleborus niger ‘Jacob Classic’ blooms have a beautiful perfume.
– Frost: Hellebores are completely unfazed by frost and will happily bloom through snow.
– Growth: Evergreen perennial clump of handsome foliage and long blooming winter flowers. What more could you ask? They even oblige with a steady stream of baby seedlings in woodland conditions. So they will create their own drifts. However they are not invasive, and can be easily weeded out if you don’t happen to want a drift there.
– Beneficial for wildlife: You only have to marvel at the hybrid vigour and variety of the seedlings, to know that bees have had a whale of a time visiting the parent flowers. The long winter blooming period and prolific flowering makes them especially valuable for bees and other beneficial pollinators.
– Care: Low maintenance and easy “no fuss” plants. If you are determined to be busy, then an annual shear of the old foliage during late autumn / early winter freshens things up for flower display, and then a dressing with compost or mulch after flowering pampers them.
– Be aware: While all parts of Helleborus are toxic if eaten in large quantities, mercifully they taste very bitter and burn the lips. So any foragers are highly likely to spit it out, unlikely to take a second nibble, and will have a hard time eating enough to do damage.
– Deer & Rabbit resistant: That bitter taste also deters rabbits and deer from munching. Somehow they seem to know it is not going to be nice..
– Origin: Various species of this genus originated in Europe and Asia. However the greatest concentration of this species is in the Balkans.