Stern’s hellebore’s flower buds are flushed with deep red and open in late winter to reveal chartreuse interiors. (Richie Steffen)

Stern’s hellebore’s flower buds are flushed with deep red and open in late winter to reveal chartreuse interiors. (Richie Steffen)

Great Plant Pick: Helleborus x sternii aka Stern’s hellebore

This hybrid’s flower buds are flushed with deep red and open in late winter to reveal chartreuse interiors.

What: Helleborus x sternii, commonly called Stern’s hellebore, is the product of two great parents. Corsican hellebore brings somewhat coarse blue-green foliage, green flowers and cold hardiness to the match, while Helleborus lividus (from Majorca) is a cold-tender, compact grower with lovely burgundy stalks and flowers. The resulting combination is a plant that we can grow to Zone 6. It is compact with beautiful, blue-green leaves set off by burgundy stalks. Its flower buds are flushed with deep red and open in late winter to reveal their chartreuse interiors. The flowers of Helleborus x sternii are held on strong stalks and last well, looking good into late spring. This hybrid takes after its Mediterranean parents in its tolerance of full sun. Plants of Helleborus x sternii vary, sometimes resembling one parent more than the other, but all are garden worthy.

Where: This hellebore will grow best in full sun to light or open shade. It prefers a well drained or sandy soil, but will tolerate clay if drainage is adequate.

Size: The hybrid hellebore grow to be 2-feet-6-inches tall and 2 feet wide when mature.

Care: Stern’s hellebore is tough and long-lived if left undisturbed. Once established, it is fully drought tolerant. Use minimal fertilizer to keep plants from flopping as they mature. New growth will appear at the base in late winter. Once the flowers have faded in April, cut the flowering stems to the ground being careful not to damage the new growth.

— Richie Steffen, Great Plant Picks

Talk to us

More in Life

Dave Dodge stands on a speaker while playing his guitar during Nite Wave's show at Tony V's Garage on Saturday, June 8, 2019 in Everett, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
1980s new wave streams when Bothell cover band performs

Hear Bothell’s own Nite Wave rock out at the “Best ’80s Party Ever!” on Feb. 27 via Facebook.

If you're a gardener who just can't wait for spring, winter-blooming pansies will tide you over. (Getty Images)
Do you suffer from the spring condition ‘hortitostrogenitis’?

It’s a made-up word for the feeling you get when it’s not yet March, but you’re itching to get back into the garden.

"Prophets, Teachers and Kings" is a 2020 documentary by Snohomish's John Carswell.
Urban art gets the spotlight at a new Snohomish gallery

The Rosella Gallery features artwork featured in the “Prophets, Teachers and Kings” documentary through March 30.

Barre3 owner Gina Drake leads an exercise class in the Red Barn at 5th Ave S and Maple Street on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2020 in Edmonds, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Barre3 teaches a fitness trifecta for balance during COVID-19

The full-body workouts combine strength conditioning, cardio and mindfulness to help you feel balanced.

Bourbon mash sits at a distillery in Versailles, Kentucky, on July 26, 2020. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Luke Sharrett.
Start your whiskey collection with these 10 bottles

Whether you’re new whiskey game or are a veteran collector, it’s hard to know when to store it or pour it.

A grain bowl with roasted veggies and lemon-garlic salmon is a great way to kick off fish Fridays for Lent. (Gretchen McKay/Post-Gazette/TNS)
Make this zesty lemon-garlic salmon farro bowl for Lent

A grain bowl with roasted veggies and lemon-garlic salmon is a great way to observe fish Fridays for Lent.

Riley Wong, 7, shows his pen pal, Smudge, the picture he drew for her in addition to his letter at Pasado's Safe Haven on Friday, Feb. 19, 2021 in Monroe, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Kids make connections with critters through pen pals program

Pasado’s Safe Haven near Sultan invites children to write to a turkey, a goat, a cow and a rooster.

The 2021 Honda Odyssey minivan has a restyled front end, including the grille, front bumper and LED headlights. (Manufacturer photo)
Functional, practical Honda Odyssey is a favorite among buyers

There’s plenty of room inside this minivan for people, pets and whatnot, and it’s even good in snow.

Can houseplants make you happy? We think so. (Jennifer Bardsley)
A love letter to houseplants during a long and lonely pandemic

A year of social-distancing is like living in a hothouse, but at least her plants provide good company.

Most Read