Hellebores, Part IV (page 5)
by Marge Talt ( mtalt(at)clark.net
Anemone Flowers and Doubles
This slide was labeled "A-F White". I wrote Graham and asked him what that meant. He told me it was his abbreviation for "Anemone Flowered", the half-way stage to double flowers. In most species and hybrids, the nectaries are tubular. They may be colored, but they are small and almost hidden. Double flowers occur when the nectaries extend and become flattened, looking like sepals. The name "Anemone Flowered" was coined by the early breeders because they thought the flowers resembled those of the Japanese anemone (Anemone x hybrida).
As you can see, this extension of the nectaries takes different forms. These still show a bit of their normal tubular shape - quite nifty, I think.
Doubles can vary in form, too. This pink, fading with age to green, reminds me of my rugosa roses a bit.
In this close-up, you can clearly see that the nectaries have fully expanded and flattened out - and there are none around the stamens in the center of the flower. For some reason, this also reminds me of apple blossoms.
This yellow double is rather different; more of a peony look, to me.
Graham says that if you cross a double with a single flowered hellebore you will get a percentage of anemone flowered plants. The percentage will depend on the parents (genes again). If you then cross an anemone flowered with another anemone flowered you get a percentage (small) of full doubles and lots of singles, but no anemone flowered. If you choose the right parents and cross full doubles with full doubles and you can get over ninety percent full double seedlings.