Lutea tree peony - commentary

James Waddick
Tue, 22 May 2007 12:26:30 PDT
Dear Jim and all -
	I wrote in some haste and obviously assumed you had a "good' 
yellow (see later) and didn't look at the picture. You are correct 
that the French hybrids were the first Lutea hybrids and in my 
opinion are poor garden ornaments. "Sourvenir de Maxime Cornu (Henry, 
1897) has coarse foliage, and oversize flowers, that are pendant and 
hidden in the foliage. They have marginal value as a floating cut 
flower and a curiosity. I don't give them garden space. Others are 
somewhat better, the best being 'L'Esperance' (Lemoine, 1909) with 
single flowers held more upright. My opinion of course.

	There are about 5 of these French cultivars still around. 
Curiously they are widely grown in Japan under Japanese names and now 
in China they have been given a whole new set of names.

	The foremost Chinese  taxonomist,  Hong De Yuan, has combined 
most of these taxa under P. delavayi. These include P. lutea, P. 
potanninii, P. troillioides and others in combinations. All the 
yellow tree peony species are native to China, but were apparently 
never used in the production of classic Chinese tree Peony cultivars.

	The Saunders and newer hybrids are far superior to these 
seminal French hybrids.

		Best	Jim W.

I have to take exception to what is written above.

>In fact, the yellow-flowered tree peony shown in my image (all of the yellow
>flowers were cut from one plant of 'Souvenir de Maxime Cornu') is not the
>result of the work of either Saunders or Daphnis: it is the result of the
>work of the French pioneer hybridizer Professor Louis Henry who was the
>first in the West (and as far as is known, the first ever) to deliberately
>hybridize suffruticosa tree peonies with Paeonia lutea. This work was
>evidently done at the end of the nineteenth century, about thirty years
>before the first Saunders yellow-flowered hybrid was introduced.

Dr. James W. Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Ph.    816-746-1949
Zone 5 Record low -23F
	Summer 100F +

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