James Waddick
Fri, 30 Jul 2004 10:56:51 PDT
Dear All;
	John's experience with a Chinese peony (i.e. an herbaceous 
lactiflora selection) is as I suggested. These do very poorly in mild 
climates, but don't confuse a Chinese peony with a Chinese TREE peony 
(TP). There are four major cultivar groups of Chinese TP. All should 
do well in milder climates especially the suffruticosa types and 
especially those selected for mild climates. Japanese cvs have been 
selected for centuries from Chinese stocks, but are in general 
hardier and better suited to a wide range of climates. Selections of 
the TP sp. P. rockii are just coming into the US and these should 
prove the hardiest of the lot for Chinese TP.

	Rick (Rogers) or Brother's TP is one of the best sellers 
particularly of the American/Lutea hybrids (This includes 'High 

	Thanks for adding the note about fall planting. There's no 
way I could say everything in 2 small TOW pieces. The intent was to 
incite interest in warm climate species for the milder West Coast.

	Walter's Garden does sell herbaceous and tree peonies in the 
spring. Generally a small selection and at very modest prices, but 
ONLY wholesale. Typically growers who buy plants in quantity are 
better able to establish these plants than most amateur gardeners. 
One reason I urge Fall planting only. Nurseries want plants in the 
spring "garden season' -a falsehood foisted on the unknowing public. 
Now potted peonies are appearing in garden centers, often in bloom. 
If healthy there is no reason not to purchase these, but keep them 
potted for FALL planting. Unpotting is sure to disturb the roots, 
stress the plant's annual cycle and possible kill the plant. This is 
especially true of herbaceous peones, less of TP.

	Onset of peony dormancy is controlled by many factors and 
differs from species to species. Ambient temp, soil temp. freeze, 
rainfall all are factors.

	Unfortunately mass market growers of peonies(and many other 
plants) tend to sell plants that propagate well, sell well, have some 
built in publicity etc, and NOT necessarily those best suited for 
specialty climates. To get mild climate Chinese TP cvs you must go to 
a grower who specializes in Chinese Tp and discuss mild climate cvs, 
and NOT White Flower Farm or Michicagn Bulb Company (I know you 
thought they were gone , but 'They're back"!) Likewise Mediterranean 
species need to be grown from seed exchange seed or specialty 
growers. (see The Genus Paeonia for details).

	Good luck,	Jim W.
Dr. James W. Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Ph.    816-746-1949
E-fax  419-781-8594

Zone 5 Record low -23F
	Summer 100F +

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