Many years ago, walking in the hills above Griante, Lake Como, towards a small church with a view, San Martino, we happened upon an unforgettable scene: dozens and dozens of white hellebore growing in a dappled forest. They were so perfect, so abundant and thriving, it was a marvel. The sight is probably not mentioned in the guides because our walk took place at the end of winter, an unusual time for a hike in the hills. I now know that the hellebore were the well-loved Helleborus niger.
|from white to darkest purple|
|our very own foetidus - such a shame, the name!|
|our 'wandering' helleborus viridis or occidentalis|
|captured this morning|