MONSIEUR JULES ELIE, 1888        
One of only ten lactifloras to win the RHS Award of Garden Merit, this luxurious Victorian is one of the world’s most popular peonies. Even in the South, says guru Felder Rushing, its huge, fragrant blooms are “absolutely dependable.” 3-5 eye roots, 30” mid-season, zones 3a-8a(8bWC), from Iowa. Last offered in 2010. We offer a rotating selection of peonies. For an alert the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for our email newsletter.
MONS. MARTIN CAHUZAC, 1899        
Long known as the darkest peony of all, this French icon is a wine-dark maroon that looks even darker amid its pastel cousins. Its satiny petals have a shimmer of black, and the sometimes unruly form of its flowers only adds to its darkly romantic je ne sais quoi. Strong stems, 32-34”, mid-season, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), 3-5 eyes, from Iowa. Last offered in 2015. We offer a rotating selection of peonies. For an alert the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for our email newsletter.
MRS. FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, 1932        
The rich fragrance and rose-like form of this APS Gold Medal winner make it distinct in the garden and terrific in bouquets. Opening “like a blush-pink waterlily” (Martin Page), it matures into a graceful, cupped flower of pale, silvery pink. Free-flowering, vigorous, 3-5 eye roots, 30-34”, mid-season, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from Iowa. Last offered in 2016. We offer a rotating selection of peonies. For an alert the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for our email newsletter.
MYRTLE GENTRY, 1925        
Deliciously fragrant, ‘Myrtle’ opens pale pink with hints of cream and apricot before maturing to a creamy almost-white. It was bred in Minnesota (so you know it’s tough) by America’s first family of peonies, the Brands. Strong stems. 3-5 eye roots, 34-36”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from Iowa. Last offered in 2016. We offer a rotating selection of peonies. For an alert the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for our email newsletter.
PHILIPPE RIVOIRE, 1911        
Although fragrant red peonies are hard to find, this rose-scented legend is “positively sweet-smelling” (Harding, 1923). On wiry stems, its satiny, deep crimson flowers are just the right size for gardens and bouquets. Free flowering, 3-5 eye roots, 30-32”, early-mid, zones 3a-8a(8bWC), from Iowa. Last offered in 2013. We offer a rotating selection of peonies. For an alert the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for our email newsletter.
PHILOMELE, 1861        
One of the most fragrant peonies of all, 154-year-old ‘Philomele’ opens its broad pink guard petals to reveal a frothy heart of amber which gradually matures to pink, often with a tuft of broader petals emerging from the center. The transformation is fascinating – and the fragrance is heavenly! By Calot, free-blooming, strong stems, 30-32”, mid, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), 3-5 eyes, from Iowa. Last offered in 2015. We offer a rotating selection of peonies. For an alert the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for our email newsletter.
POLAR STAR, 1932        
Unbowed by wind or rain and as graceful as a wildflower, this rarely offered Japanese peony was bred by the great Hans Sass of Nebraska. Its lacy petals surround an exuberantly sunny center that charms both people and bees. 3-5 eye roots, 32-36”, mid-late, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from Iowa. Last offered in 2012. An Iowa peony farmer is propagating it for us and we plan to offer it again periodically. For an alert, sign up for our email newsletter.
PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT, 1905        
Although rarely offered today, this fragrant peony makes such an excellent, long-lasting cut-flower that it’s now being grown by farmers in Alaska for sales to the lower 48 – in July and August! But don’t worry, yours will bloom at the usual time, with bold, informal, waterlily-like flowers laced throughout with golden stamens. Named for Theodore Roosevelt, long before there was any other President Roosevelt. Strong stems, 34-36”, mid-season, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), 3-5 eyes, from Iowa. Last offered in 2014. We offer a rotating selection of peonies. For an alert the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for our email newsletter.
Paeonia officinalis RUBRA PLENA, 1568        
Celebrated for its herbal powers by the Greeks and Romans, Paeonia officinalis was grown in colonial gardens long before the P. lactiflora ancestors of most of today’s peonies arrived here from China in the early 1800s. Its early bloom-time – two weeks ahead of standard peonies – and vibrant color made it the classic Memorial Day “piney” of Civil War graveyards. 28-32”, early, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), 3-5 eyes, from Holland. Last offered in 2016. We offer a rotating selection of peonies. For an alert the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for our email newsletter.
SEA SHELL, 1937        
Winner of the APS Gold Medal as one of the best peonies ever, ‘Sea Shell’ produces a flurry of big, soft pink, single flowers on sturdy stems, each illuminated by a heart of yellow stamens. 3-5 eye roots, 30-36”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from an Iowa nursery that’s been growing peonies since 1887. Last offered in 2008. We offer a rotating selection of peonies. For an alert the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for our email newsletter.
Page 3 of Peonies: Lost?
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