Festiva Maxima, heirloom herbaceous peony
Notable characteristics: Pure white petals form a loose double. The edges of a few center petals are rimmed in crimson. Vigorous grower and generous bloomer. Stems are long and cannot support blossoms once fully open. For landscape use, additional support is necessary to prevent the dreaded "peony flop." This cultivar is best suited for the cutting garden, where blossoms can be brought indoors and enjoyed for over a week. There are many good reasons that this cultivar has been a favorite in the cut flower markets of Europe and the United States for over 150 years.
'Festiva Maxima' was selected by the noted 19th century French horticulturalist Auguste Miellez. He maintained extensive gardens of peonies and roses at Esquermes outside of Lille.
Cultivar group, hybridizer and year introduced: Lactiflora, Miellez, 1851.
Growth habit and size at maturity (10 years old): 3' tall and 3' wide.
Flower form and size: Double, 8-10".
Flower fragrance: Strong, spicy sweet scent.
Bloom time: Early season lactiflora herbaceous peony, blooms in our USDA zone 6a garden in the first or second week of June.
Zone hardiness: Proven in USDA zones 4-9.
Plant size: 4-5 'eye' plants with a well developed root system. This size plant will most likely flower its first or second spring in the ground.
When we ship: Orders for USDA zones 4-9 will ship in Fall 2016.
Potted stock on this plant is available at the nursery for pickup this spring. Sorry, we do not ship potted plants.