Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Veratrum nigrum (Black False Hellebore)

Plants can be desired because they are rare, beautiful, fruitful, shade giving, architectural and so forth, but I also love plants that are intriguing. One of those intriguing plants is blooming right now in my garden and I feel a compulsion to share my enthusiasm for it. I can't say it is especially beautiful, although it is striking. Imagine coming across a patch of these in some remote Asian meadow. Who wouldn't be drawn to it? Perhaps I find it intriguing for its deep maroon flowers, pleated leaves and stark inflorescence, but that doesn't seem sufficient. Maybe it is because I have just the one and it has made itself a fixture in my garden since I bought it from Arrowhead Alpines nine years ago. I don't know, but I do relish it and why not? The flowering of my Veratrum nigrum is always a special event. How many other plants can offer that?