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Botanical Name:Helleborus spp.
Common Name:Hellebore or Christmas Rose
Native Region:Temperate zone from Europe to Western China
Members of the Ranunculaceae or buttercup family, hellebores are related to peonies and clematis. They are slow-growing, clump forming plants that don’t like to be moved once they’ve settled in. Hellebore flowers are shaped like a single rose with 5 petal-like structures ringing a wispy center. Colors range from dusty pinks and purples to white or light green, the color of the center stalk of celery, and are enjoyed for months. They have dark green leathery leaves that are evergreen or nearly so in our climate. Hellebores adapt to a variety of growing conditions. However, they do best in light to deep shade and prefer moist, fertile soil. They are virtually pest free; even deer leave them alone.
Garden Location:Shady Lane, Woodland Mosaic, Birds & Bees Walk, Waring House
Botanical Name:Yucca rostrata
Common Name:Beaked Yucca
Native Region:Chihuahuan Desert, inhabiting western Texas and northern Mexico in the states of Chihuahua and Coahuila
When the perennials have gone dormant and leaves have fallen, many landscapes have little to offer for winter interest. Evergreens add immensely to our winter gardens, but their look can be predictable, and few thrive in dry or unwatered gardens. The nearly tropical form of tree-type yuccas is a welcome departure from more traditional landscapes in our region. Yucca rostrata is one of the hardiest of these, and is considered by many to be the most elegant of all. The long flexible leaves are a silvery blue-green color, and they shimmer in the breeze, animating the garden when little else captures your attention. They are resilient under the weight if snow, and the rounded rosettes of leaves stand regally atop stout trunks. In spring they are crowned for several weeks with a large inflorescence of nodding white blooms on a compact stalk 2 to 3 feet tall.
Botanical Name:Narcissus cultivars
Native Region:Southwestern Europe
Botanists recognize about 40 different species with up to an additional 200 subspecies and wild hybrids. What are most commonly available for planting are selections of the 25,000 registered hybrids that fall into one of thirteen different categories based on flower size and shape. Examples of each of the thirteen different categories can be found in broad swaths in Denver Botanic Gardens' Lilac Garden as well as scattered throughout numerous other gardens at the York Street facility. In addition to the traditional yellow, flowers in shades of white, orange, green and various combinations of these colors are displayed.
Garden Location:Lilac Garden and throughout the Gardens
Botanical Name:Heliconia orthotricha ‘Flash’
Common Name:Parrot Beak Flower
Native Region:Tropical Americas
Heliconia orthotricha ‘Flash’, sometimes called Parrot Beak Flower or Lobster Claw, is an eye catching tropical herb. It is easily recognized by its bright colored inflorescence that stands upright and looks like many parrot beaks. The showy bracts are yellow and reddish orange with a border of green. Many cultivars of Heliconia orthotricha, including ‘Flash’, have become popular as cut flowers. Native to the tropical Americas, Heliconias are members of the Heliconia Family, Heliconiaceae, related to Bananas and Strelitzeas (Bird of Paradise). Heliconia orthotricha ‘Flash’ stands 6-7 feet tall and is located along the north pathway of the Conservatory.
Garden Location:Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory
Botanical Name:Corylus avellana
Common Name:European Filbert
Native Region:Europe, western Asia and northern Africa
Tucked away in the southwest corner of the Sensory Garden, this large shrub or small tree is monoecious, meaning it contains both male and female flowers. The pendulum-like male catkins bloom in late winter to early spring giving the garden a yellow glow in the dormant months. The female flower is very small and largely concealed in the buds, with only the bright red styles visible. The leaves are deciduous, alternate and with deep irregular lobes as characteristic of the Betulaceae family. Corylus avellana is native to Europe, western Asia and northern Africa and is widely grown in Oregon in the United States for hazelnut production. Hazelnuts, also known as filberts are becoming increasingly popular in the United States as being a healthy alternative for cooking and baking.
Garden Location:Morrison Center