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  • Sw x htw

    Secret Weapon X HeronsWood Torq = SW X HWT
    Secret Weapon had been called Dwarf, I had to change the name to something more fun and interesting. SW is a hellebore species that appears to be an alpine hellebore. It has some unique features. It is very hardy, fast to maturity and low growing. I used Heronswood torq pollen on secret weapon in 2005. They have been removed from the garden fall 2016 and wintered in to bread crates on the ground in the shade. They are frozen but I pulled two out and re-covered them so they will remain froze. I will remove them a few at a time for pollenating threw the upcoming season. The two are #01, #02. They are potted and in the cold frame.
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    Last edited by bruce03451; 03-02-2017, 04:39 AM.

  • #2
    It will be interesting to see what you end up with!

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    • #3
      Keep us updated - to wait for flowering will take..... two or three years ?

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      • #4
        Bruce
        Interesting what is the foliage structure of SW seedlings look like hybridus?

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        • #5
          Hello everyone, these will flower now, they will be pollenated with other hellebore. I have hellebore that will be in bloom in about 2 weeks that are HTW X hybridus. I will take pollen from these and mate them to the 05022 group. I have hellebore through out the garden that will start bloom through out the next four weeks. I have allot of secret weapon and will back cross and hit the 05022 hybrid again with secret weapon as well as hitting 05022 with HTW pollen. I will end up with over a thousand hybrid cross with my new toy, secret weapon.
          I will try to keep hybridus blood to a minimum for the foliage on the secret weapon. I want the torq foliage without changing the bloom. This hybrid needs work. I want to take a huge jump forward fast. I can plant large seed beds outside in the garden and look for traits to carry forward.
          The goal is to create a small hellebore series that is fast to maturity has lots of interesting features for collecting and takes up a small footprint in the garden. The target gardener would be someone like myself. An older gardener that has interest in small gardens with small plants. Hellebore for troughs that mature to a small size that have the hardiness to be wintered in containers. Small mini plants is what I and my gardening friends now look for and collect.
          Jeff you can see the foliage on the 05022 hybrid. The labels I use are 6 x 5/16 inch for all reference in my pics. I find that most of time I end up with the pod parents foliage with a cross. It will be interesting to see what the reverse cross might produce, HTW as pod parent and secret weapon as the pollen parent. Secret weapon hides the flowers in the flush of new summer growth. Major flaw. It will be overcome with careful selection. I have great faith in secret weapon to be a great parent for fast maturity, fibrous root system and plant hardiness that can't be beat. This is a terrific base to put some pretty little faces on.
          Last edited by bruce03451; 03-04-2017, 03:18 AM.

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          • #6
            05022 lp
            05022-LP-d.jpg05022-LP.jpg

            05022 wt
            wtf aa.jpgwtf-f.jpg

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            • #7
              05022 wt
              05022-wt.jpg05022-wt-a.jpg

              05022 tt
              05022-tt.jpg

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              • #8
                thank you for the explination and your pictures

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                • #9
                  That's a real beauty!

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                  • #10
                    Challenging goals, Bruce! Small hellebore plants would definitely have great advantages for most gardeners.
                    Most of my Elizabeth Town hellebores have huge, tall leaves and are really big plants. My darks are from a different source and a bit smaller. The plants from Ashwood seeds vary a lot. Especially after a number of years now (12) you can see how some of them have become really large plants, whereas others have a hard time to thrive. Greens and certain yellows are in the latter group.
                    The only plants I have / had (only one white one left,- the one I sent you seeds from a couple of years back) that were carrying the flowers above the leaves were 'Sunshine Strain' hybrids.

                    What is everybody's experience with the lifespan of hellebores?
                    My dark plants are 15 years old and the plants are starting to get small (clump size). The ETs are 14 years old and many are reduced to small clumps too.
                    Likewise many of my seedlings, most of them involving Ashwood parents, are still in the 'clumping up' phase, whereas the parent plants have fewer and fewer flower stalks and smaller clumps.

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                    • #11
                      I've noticed the clumps of some of my older plants shrinking and the number of blooms reducing.

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                      • #12
                        I would consider the inner sections of a large clump to be essentially dormant and it is probably time to divide.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jeff View Post
                          it is probably time to divide.
                          I bet you're right Jeff!

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                          • #14
                            I have never divided or transplanted a hellebore... It doesn't look like other plants (e.g. irises) though that have the inner part die out while they are flourishing around the outside of the clump. It is like if a big part of the plant is simply gone and just a few or even only single flower stalk and bundle of leaves remain.

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                            • #15
                              You should not generalize on when to divide hellebore. Most x hybridus I would think every three to five years benefit from dividing and moving to a fresh location. Species such as torquatus that are slow to mature need much more time to mature. If a torquatus is well placed and appeared happy I would hesitate to divide. That said after a dozen years most hellebores of the section Helleborastrum need division with new placement.

                              I agree with Jeff that Gaby's hellebore need to be divided and new placement needed. These older plants divide easy with a sharp garden spade. they have rhizomes that grow out from the center. Discard any old bad looking parts and keep your divisions large. I like dividing now after flower before the summer growth or in August when the weather cools.

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