Among peony connoisseurs, the name Saunders is synonymous with excellence. A.P. Saunders was a professor of chemistry at Hamilton College whose passion was peony hybridizing. He was active and extremely successful in this field from the 1920's to the 1950's. He selected only about 1% of all of the seedlings which were the result of his crosses, thus the 200 or so Saunders varieties represent the cream of a lifetime crop of over 200,000 plants.