Iain Brodie of Falsyde
Wed, 14 May 2008 13:53:29 PDT
Its nice to see divergence from monocot bulbs from time to time especially when it raises the subject of these beautiful Paeones.

I am rapidly bringing together a collection of botanical species here, the hybrids and multibrids are a way too blousy for my tastes and anyway this is a botanic garden after all so they would be seriously out of place here. Our peonies are starting into flower just now and the first one to kick off was P. mascula ssp. russoi [I saw somewhere that this is a synonym for another but can't find the reference, is a large sharp clear pink open cup which last year got clobbered by frost before finishing but is now nearly over, its always first in and out. P. mairei is next up and in full throttle right now with masses of darker shades of pink upward and also out facing cups. Just literally beginning for the first time this year is P mascula ssp. willmottiae now this has stunning white blooms, a wee bit shy to open wide so far but as its the first year non too sure if that's normal, but as white globes they stand out from a distance like large tennis balls . P. tenuifolia seems to be ready to flower very soon, probably by the weekend and one of my clear favourites partly because of the unique leaves. Others such as P.P. peregrina, lutea, delavayi,  potaninii, ludlowii, rockii, emodii, lactiflora, obovata, etc, etc have still some way to go as they are barely out of the ground so far. I await P. ostii each year with great pleasure but it is also currently still well 'back'. 

Generally plants of this stype I try to plant in groups of three or five for each species and accession per species, always wild origin seed originated..... the wait is worth it, and it helps ensure a minimum degree of genetic diversity is maintained for the future. I do have P. clusii as young plants but am ready for a disappointment, coming from Crete in the Mediterranean I suspect I am too far north, too cold and too wet, this taxon does not "do" damp maritime climates but I reckon nothing ventured nothing gained. There is also a putative hybrid here between P.tenuifolia and P. a.n.other which is due to flower too, it grew from the same batch of seed as P. tenuifolia and has lovely mid pink flowers with a cut leaved foliage mid way. A large batch of seed arrived this spring from China allegedly sold as P. rockii with the caveat "open pollinated may contain hybrids" We shall see, anyway a couple of hundred of the seed has been sown with lots more in the fridge if anyone wants a few to try, getting them officially into the USA / Canada might require some ingenuity.


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