Saturday, May 2, 2009

drop dead gorgeous

The stinking hellebore, as its name implies, has a most unpleasant odour, and the leaves of the tooth-leaved maiden plum of the West Indies, when bruised, emit a sulphurous smell, and birds that happen to break them are said to fall asphyxiated and are unable to fly away for some time afterwards.

from The Mystery and Lure of Perfume
C.J.S. Thompson 1927

photo: helleborus foetidus, dungwort, bear's foot 2007 wildfeuer
image: hellebores officinalis, Ferdinand Bauer 1795 (?)



Specimens: from Simon Garbutt's garden, his scan of helleborus foetidus, with cross-section, helleborus viridis; several different helleborus x hybridus;
includes 2 double flowers; pale cream bred by Ashwoods; dark purple bred by Harveys 2006