Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Just opened- Paeonia peregrina

The true red of Paeonia peregrina is a real eye-catcher in the garden and easy to grow although slower than some species to get established. The flower retains a bowl/globe shape. Foliage is green on emerging rather than the shades of red seen in most peonies. Distinctively lobed too. However I note that one of the two plants I photographed has a more pointed leaf, although both are from the same seed lot. Whether this is natural variation or a bit of hybridization I don't know; the seed was from a commercial source.

The plant with the twisted stem was caught in a nasty wind storm a month ago, during which the wind reflections changed direction several times. Normally the stems would be upright and on mature plants in the wild can reach to 3 ft tall.

This is the first year of flowering of this species here. I expect the flowers to be larger once the plants are a bit more mature.

This species is native to southeastern Europe, from Italy to Turkey, growing in ravines and open woodlands. Here it is happiest in sun, a bit less so in partial shade beds, and pretty unhappy in my woodland bed to date so far.

1 comment:

Denis Wilson said...

Nice plants. The leaf colour, the shape (and veining) all are reminiscent of the double red "rubra plena". To me it is so obvious that it is a hybrid between P. officinalis and this plant. But the botanists refuse to re-classify it away from P. officinalis. Time for some DNA analysis.
Prof Saunders used some of these in his breeding programs, to get a true red colour into the large flowered herbaceous varieties - under the name of "Lobata of Perry" - which reflects your comment on the variability of the shape of the leaves. He got his seed from Perry (obviously), in England.