Peony -Iris stolonifera

Jim McKenney
Tue, 01 May 2007 13:07:20 PDT
Jim Waddick asked for more information about the peony whose image I posted.

Unfortunately, I really don’t know much at all. I have not actually seen it
myself - I've only seen the photo. I'm told that the color in the photo is
accurate. There is one flower per stem. And yes, it is in bloom now. 

There is more to the story. The present owner of this plant says she brought
it from Iowa years ago. It came with a story: supposedly, it was brought to
Iowa about a century ago with a family from the Valley of Virginia. 

Until I saw the photo, this all made it sound like Paeonia tenuifolia. 

But it's obviously not simply one of the wild forms of Paeonia tenuifolia. 

Hybrids of Paeonia tenuifolia have been known since the early nineteenth
century - pre Civil War days. Years ago I grew one of these, so-called
Paeonia × smouthii. The foliage of that plant was very much like the foliage
of the plant in the photo. But the flower was much different (or at least
much different as these things go).  

You would think that such a showy plant would have a name – even something
like “the early red peony the old farm families grow”. 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where Paeonia wittmanniana is
in full bloom. 

My Virtual Maryland Garden
Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS 
Editor PVC Bulletin 
Webmaster Potomac Lily Society

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