Visitors to our garden often remark on the fine collection of pastel cream, ivory and yellow herbaceous peonies we have. These are early blooming hybrids, flowering for us in mid to late-May. Their genetic background is complex, and contain bothP. daurica subsp. macrophylla and P. lactiflora.
The story behind these hybrids is an interesting one. In the early 1990s we received a shipment of hybrid herbaceous peonies from the breeder Chris Lanning. He in turn had acquired the progenitors of these plants from the renown collection of Prof. A.P. Saunders in Clinton, NY.
Prof. A.P. Saunders (March 22, 1869 – August 14, 1953) is probably the most prolific peony hybridizer the world has known. He was responsible for bringing many new species into the gene-pool of our garden peony varieties, thus bringing new colors and a longer flowering period.
These pastel hybrid herbaceous peonies growth habit tends to be vigorous, to 2.5'-3' tall by 3' wide. Blossoms are most often single to a light semi-double form. We do not find it necessary to stake these peonies. The foliage is bright green and glossy, and very broad. Typical lactiflora herbaceous peony leaves are darker green and more finely cut. Flower colors will vary from white, cream, soft yellow and palest pink. Given good care, these herbaceous peony seedlings will begin to bloom in one to two years.
These plants are 2 yrs old and have two to three eyes and a well developed root system.