Floral Architecture
Fri, 30 Jul 2004 09:54:55 PDT
Jim, et al.
I have a few comments on Peonies here in L.A. I had a
'Mons. Jules Elie' (A herbaceous variety) that
flowered this spring. The plant is a single wisp of a
stem. It attmepted a bud last year but I was out of
town at the time and it aborted for whatever reason. 
As Jim said, with this being a herbaceous peony, I had
little hopes of it doing anything. I just force it
into dormancy in the fall and it comes back on it's
own accord when it's ready.
I will be getting some selections of Chinese tree
peonies to try here in LA.

Here is an excerpt from Rick (owner) of Brother's

"Just as I have seen. One thing that I have noticed is
that the Chinese plants seem to grow better in the
milder areas and the colder it gets the worse they
seem to grow. On the other hand, the Japanese plants
thrive wherever I sell them, and do not have the
complaints that I do with the Chinese plants.  That is
why I thought the Chinese ones would do well for
you in L.A."

I have planted a Chinese variety (in OH), 'Wu Long
Peng Sheng', roughly translated as "lack Dragon
Holding Prosperous Bloom". Why is it that only the
Chinese and Japanese have such elegantly worded names
for plants? I think we are missing out on something
here. Anyway, it has struggled along for the last few
years. It has been in the ground for 3 years now. I
have hopes that next year it will reward me with some
The only other Chinese tree that I have had (also in
OH) is 'Yen Fin Jin Lin'. It is even smaller than the

I would be very interested in trying some
Mediterranean species here in LA but I have never been
able to find them offered, either as seeds or plants.

One side note about planting, Walters Gardens only
sells it peonies in the spring. I have tried to get
them in the fall for proper planting and they will not
release them. Walters, for those who do not know, are
a large wholesaler in MI that sells trays of 4" plants
to the retail trade. Their stuff is really nice but I
don't want peonies in the spring. It is just useless.
They will struggle for several years just to get back
up to snuff. But, they do offer, at a decent price,
several Japanese tree varieties.

One thing that Jim did not explain in his email was
the reason for planting in the fall. The peony plant
only puts out new roots in the cooler fall weather.
So, that 2-3 root thing that you get in the spring,
will have to support the whole plant for the summer
until it can regrow some fibrous roots in the fall. I
don't know which comes first, top growth dormancy or
root growth. Maybe Jim can answer that question. 

I am growing also here in LA 2 tree peonies that have
done OK. They really need to be put into some real
planting mix. I have 'High Noon' a gorgeous clear
yellow bloom and another unnamed purple variety. They
have not bloomed for me as yet though. 

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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