Paeonia 'Coral Charm'

Jim McKenney
Tue, 13 May 2008 16:00:08 PDT
For Mother’s Day I decorated the table with a big bouquet of mock orange and
peony flowers. The mock orange formed a mass about thirty inches wide and
three stems of Paeonia ‘Coral Charm’ were placed near the center of the
mass. The mock orange formed a diffuse mass, so it was not as overwhelming
as it perhaps sounds. 


‘Coral Charm’ is a famous hybrid introduced about forty years ago by
hybridizer Samuel Wissing. It has what I think of as tree peony colors:
coral, shrimp, peach and buff, although it’s a herbaceous hybrid. The
flowers are large and very beautifully formed and evidently much grown for
cut flower production. Its color makes it stand out in a collection of other
herbaceous hybrids. 


It’s also an early blooming sort: only a few wild peonies bloom earlier in
this garden. And it’s vigorous. 


It seems to have everything, doesn’t it? And as we discovered as each
admirer put his or her nose to the blooms in the bouquet, it has something
it might well do without: it stinks! The old Paeonia officinalis cultivars
were often described in the older literature as having a soapy smell. ‘Coral
Charm’ has the scent of stale fish: it’s really terrible, but fortunately it
does not carry well. Now, three days after being cut, there is a vague peony
fragrance accompanying the fish stink. 


It’s really beautiful, just don’t put you nose into it. 


I’ve added a picture to the wiki, take a look at:…




Jim McKenney

Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone

My Virtual Maryland Garden



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