A Wonderful New Hellebore, ‘Penny’s Pink’

Helleborus x 'Penny's Pink' 3-30-2015 4-13-51 PM‘Penny’s Pink’ hybrid hellebore

I rarely profile a single plant, but I am so excited about ‘Penny’s Pink’ hybrid hellebore that I decided it deserved a post of its own.  And where do I start, the new leaves, the old leaves, the new flowers, the old flowers….they all have amazing ornamental value.  Read on to find out about what has been called “the most exciting new hellebore in years.”  All photos were taken of actual plants at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens.

Nursery News:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.


Helleborus x 'Penny's Pink' 3-30-2015 11-19-58 AMThe 3″ symmetrical, cup-shaped flowers are a lovely rosy pink with a prominent cluster of yellow stamens set off by chartreuse nectaries.

‘Penny’s Pink’ was hybridized by RD Plants in the UK and is named after famous British plantswoman Penelope Hobhouse.  It is probably a cross between hybrid hellebore and Helleborus x ballardiae, which is itself a cross between Christmas rose and Helleborus lividus.  The latter species gives ‘Penny’s Pink’ its burgundy overtones, marbled leaves, and distinctive pink flowers.


Helleborus x 'Penny's Pink' 3-30-2015 11-24-21 AMBurgundy stems are topped by a fading flower on the right and a flower well past its prime on the left, both are beautiful.  Because the flowers are sterile, they last a long time.


Helleborus x 'Penny's Pink' 3-30-2015 11-22-18 AMThe backs of the flowers are as pretty as the front and deepen to a dark pink with age.


Helleborus x 'Penny's Pink' 3-30-2015 11-16-04 AMThe new leaves of ‘Penny’s Pink’ come out looking like pink fishnet stockings as one reviewer described them.


Helleborus x 'Penny's Pink' 3-30-2015 11-17-38 AM The colors stop people in their tracks in my sales area.


Helleborus x 'Penny's Pink' 5-29-2014 7-12-10 AMBy June, the pink marbling has turned to lime-green, and the leaves are shiny, thick, and leathery.  You can see that the spent flowers still provide interest.


Helleborus x 'Penny's Pink' 5-29-2014 7-12-27 AMI didn’t stock this hellebore until late May last year.  Based on the leaves alone, the plants were gone within a day and never made it to the open house sale.  No one visited without buying one.


Helleborus x 'Penny's Pink' 3-30-2015 5-09-02 PMAnd here’s something amazing—this is one of last year’s leaves in my garden today.  After our horrendous winter, they still look beautiful, not something I can say about most plants or humans either.  I don’t need to tell you what my other hellebore leaves look like!


Helleborus x 'Penny's Pink' 3-30-2015 5-09-43 PMAnother “old” leaf photo of the whole plant from the top. 


Helleborus x 'Penny's Pink' 3-30-2015 5-09-23 PMFive flower stalks loaded with buds recently emerged.  This plant, which I put in my garden last June, was the smallest of the 100 plants I sold.

‘Penny’s Pink’ is 14 to 18 inches tall and 20 to 23 inches wide.  It blooms at the same time as most other hellebores but for a longer period and grows in the same conditions: well-drained soil in a mostly shady to mostly sunny location.  Available now at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens.


Nursery Happenings: Our first event is the Hellebore Extravaganza on Saturday, April 11, from 10 am to 3 pm.  However, you can stop by anytime by appointment to purchase hellebores.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 6b/7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

34 Responses to “A Wonderful New Hellebore, ‘Penny’s Pink’”

  1. Carolyn this is one of the most beautiful hellebores I have seen from foliage to flower, beginning to end.

  2. Colleen Gutschenritter Says:

    Any suggestions where to get something like this in Dallas, Texas? I can only find the rather boring lime white variety around here. But they survive our blazing summers and crazy winters.

  3. How nice that your snowdrops are blooming at the same time. Ours are gone at least 2 weeks but Hellebores are still in bloom. Penny’s Pink, flower and foliage, are absolutely stunning. Thank you for all your gorgeous photos!

  4. That is one absolutely stunning plant (and photo)! 🙂

  5. Diane Actman Says:

    Please keep me on your list for events and garden updates. I also want to make an appointment to buy some new Penny’s Pink Hellebores. All the best, Diane Actman

  6. Amazing foliage! Truly worthy of its own post! 🙂

  7. Truly lovely. I’m in zone 5. Don’t know your zone. Will this perform in the same way in my garden?

  8. I just added one of these to my garden this spring. They are just as beautiful as in the pictures.

  9. I really do like the pink hellebore, it has clean, clear color. The leaves look like they hold up very well too. Winter was tough on them here as well. But I have to ask… over time does it hold that pick color as strongly? I bought some pinks and over time they end up looking somewhat dusty-pink, that is not very appealing.

  10. I was drooling over this plant in the Plant Delights catalog, so it’s nice to have your testimonial.

  11. Mary Griggs Says:

    Carolyn, I am with you. I bought one back in January and put it at the feet of a Pieris japonica Dorthy Wyckoff which turns burgundy in the winter. Stunning! I went and bought two more. My gardening buddy ended up doing the same thing. All the best, Mary Griggs

  12. I fell in love from afar with this plant after seeing them on Pine Knot Farm’s Facebook page. I haven’t planted much that is pink in my garden, but I am going to have to find a home for this one.

  13. Sallyann Gansky Says:


    Can you save me a Penny’s Pink Hellebore?

    Sallyann Gansky

  14. What a little beauty and those leaves add to the interest. Recently I was asked by someone who knew how crazy I was about gardening if I could name a plant, she went on to describe Hellebore, what really tickled me was when she said, its sort of known, as a posh plant!

  15. Wow. I would have to plant this one well away from my other hellebores, it would outshine all of them! The foliage really is something. I’m putting it way up on the wish-list.

  16. WoW…just gorgeous.

  17. debsgarden Says:

    This is extraordinary. The flowers are lovely, of course, but the foliage has sold me! I hope i can find this locally!

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