|A new hellebore species of Italy, H.liguricus
I first recognized the plant of H.liguricus as a species, in conversation with our hellebore guide, Will Mclewin on the 2006 tour to Croatia and Hungary. He said,“ The scent of H. liguricus is sweeter than that of H.odorus.”I have been interested in the plant since. Fortunately, the plants of flowering H. liguricus (Photo A & B) were exhibited and sold for the first time at Sunshine City Convention Hall exhibition 2007.
I became conscious of the scent of the plant there and recalled what I had learned in 2006. Therefore, it has become one of my favorite species. As H.liguricus is barely known to hellebore lovers in both Japan and other countries at the present time, I think many nurseries will try to cross some hybrids with it to produce more fragrant hellebores.
(Photo A: H.liguricus at the exhibition)
Features of the plant are described in detail in The Plantsman, published by the
Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) in 2006. A quote from one of the articles
says,“The flowers are quite large and fragrant. Their colour is a pale
whitish-green, in some examples almost pure white. The flowering time is from
mid-November till late February in the wild.”＊
I asked Will Mclewin if we
would be able to see flowering H. liguricus on the tour in March, 2008. He
answered,“I hope there will be some H. liguricus with ‘not too old’ flowers. A
lot depends on the weather this winter and next spring”
In other words, there will be some possibility to see flowering H. liguricus
even in March. So, why don’t you join our 2008 tour to see flowering H liguricus in northern Italy ？
(Photo B: Close -up H.liguricus)
“Much further north and close to the Italian west coast in Toscana and Liguria there are smaller populations of equally extreme examples of plants currently included in H.bocconei. For convenience we refer to these plants as ‘H.liguricus’.
They have relatively few, mostly only about 11, broad leaflets, giving them an ‘odorus-like’ appearance and they are somewhat frost-tender. The flowers are again quite large by hellebore standards and they are fragrant. Their colour is a pale whitish-green, in some examples almost pure white. Equally significant is the flowering time-mid November till late February in the wild. ”＊
＊Both quotes are taken from: Helleborus bocconei and the Hellebores of Italy by Will Mclewin, Brian Mathew and Matthias Thomsen, The Plantsman,New Series Volume 5 Part 4, December 2006.