Saturday, May 26, 2007

It's Official, Peony Season has started here

The Woolly Peony, Paeonia tomentosa, came into bloom today during a short heat-wave of 29C (but tomorrow is forecast to be a more reasonable 21C). The temperature washed out the colours a bit, sadly. (Also washed out a certain cyclist who went a couple of bridges too far, but who will sleep like a log tonight)

In this their second year of blooming they have retained their postion as leader of the pack (peonies don't always bloom in the same order here, particularily while young).

Flowers are a decent yellow in cooler weather, have a tinge of green and are slightly fragrant.

This species also has the synonym Paeonia wittmaniana subsp. wittmaniana, and is one of the many species peonies from the Caucasus region. Leaves fuzzy on back, but pointy and greener than the "yellow standard", P. mlokosewitschii. More vigorous, and more sun and drought tolerant than mloko too. Flowers open pale yellow and fade to ivory; they last about a week to 10 days. Stigmas and anther filaments are reddish purple. Leaves are large and lush, a good landscape plant. They provide another colourful show in fall when the seedpods ripen and fold open.This species does well in the partial shade of the display beds near the house, and is also good but less vigorous in an open field and in my test bed in the woods. These photos are of a group of 3 plants in the part-shade bed.

Nursery note: Bug Report: Blackflies: We got 'em. Lots to go around, although not as numerous as they have been. Hopefully it will be a short season for them like the last few years.

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