Hybrid Peonies
Peonies in this section comprise a very large range of plants that have come into circulation as a result of the interest shown in the various species of herbaceous Peony and their ability to hybridise with each other. In the West, such hybridisation efforts (not including lactiflora X lactiflora), seem to have started in France with Victor and Emile Lemoine, who produced Le Printemps, Mai Fleuri and Avant Garde in 1907. These three are still widely available today and are crosses between P. lactiflora and P. wittmanniana. It was not long before hybridisers in North America began to get involved and over succeeding decades many horticulturalists made their names in the annals of Peony hybridisation. Men such as Orville Fay, Robert Tischler, William Bockstoce, Myron Bigger, Oliver Brand, Gilber Wild, Edward Auten, Earle White, Roy Klehm, Bill Kreckler and many others including perhaps the most famous of them all, Arthur Saunders. One of the aims of hybridisers was to introduce yellow into herbaceous Peony flowers. The species with the most distinctly yellow petals is P. mlokosewitschii , but in America it proved to be extremely reluctant to hybridise and its shade is pale. It has not been possible to obtain a darker yellow using it, and its best hybrids are such plants as ’Claire de Lune’ (Earle White, 1954) and Nova (Saunders,1954). It should be noted that the illusion of yellow is obtained in some lactifloras by the presence of abundant yellow stamenoids (flattened yellow stamens) that create a very full centre to the flower. Such plants as the Japanese or Anenome form ‘Primevere’ and ‘Honey Gold’ spring to mind. Click on any of the images below to see a larger, named version
Athena Earlybird Mai Fleurie Salmon Glory Age of Victoria Claire de Lune Burma Ruby Belle Center Nosegay Coral Supreme Pink Hawaiian Coral Paula Fay The Peony Society