Jim McKenney
Fri, 30 Jul 2004 14:16:56 PDT
John Ingram wrote: 
>Herbaceous peonies are well known to be able to
>produce random eyes on the roots if they are removed
>from the mother crown. Some grow better than other but
>all have the potential.

John, I'm aware that some herbaceous peonies produce "random eyes"; but I
think even you will concede that it is very unusual and unpredictable.
Otherwise, this would be a standard method of propagation for herbaceous
peonies. You would starve to death if you ran a commercial peony
propagation nursery based on propagation from these "random eyes". And I
hope that you would agree with me that the commercial propagator who uses
herbaceous stock known to produce such eyes is not doing anyone a favor.

You mentioned that your plant of Shimanishiki has the herbaceous roots six
inches down. The typical, newly purchased grafted Japanese tree peony
rarely has six inches of tree peony scion. So your plant must be several
years old, and must have grown well, too. Did you start it with the
herbaceous stock six inches down? Or have you shifted it deeper gradually? 

I'm not convinced that we are necessarily coming to the correct conclusion
when we say that the herbaceous vegetative growth is killing the tree peony
scion or preventing it from growing. There are other possible explanations
for this observation, the obvious one being that the graft itself may not
have taken well. 

Since you mentioned the cultivar Shimanishiki, I want to move this thread
in a slightly different direction. I too grow this cultivar. And I have
noticed something peculiar about it. I think, but I'm not sure, that a
plant of this cultivar in this garden has reverted back in part to the
solid dull red flower from which Shimanishiki presumably sported. 

Will someone better experienced in these matters please comment on this.
Another possibility is that my plant of Shimanishiki had a second cultivar
grafted on to the same stock - but I think I would have noticed that. 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where the days are never
long enough during tree peony season. 


At 01:48 PM 7/30/2004 -0700, you wrote:
>Herbaceous peonies are well known to be able to
>produce random eyes on the roots if they are removed
>from the mother crown. Some grow better than other but
>all have the potential. 
>Also, the girdling of the herbaceous stock does not
>happen in a single growing season. It will not start
>to reduce the "juice" until maybe the 3rd or 4th
>season. By this time, the tree peony will have
>produced roots of it's own. The herbaceous root is
>never completely severed and does still provide food
>and nutrients to the TP until one day it is dug up and
>permanently cut off. 
>I can attest to the fact that herbaceous roots can
>produce side shoots and my TP graft was not able to
>grow as a result. Two years in a row I have dug up one
>'Shimanishiki' plant and removed several sections of
>the herbaceous root. They had produced randon eyes
>that grow even though they are 6" below the soil.
>Luckily, the TP has begun to prouce it's own roots and
>if I get another growth next year, the herbaceous root
>is coming off! I feel sorry for this one plant being
>continuously dug up each year. 
>John Ingram in L.A., CA. 
> check it out 
>310.709.1613 (cell, west coast time, please call accordingly. Thank you)

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