Friday, June 10, 2011

Variants, and something cute

Paeonia peregrina, usually deep red but varying towards salmon/coral in some populations in the wild. This is the first non-red flower that has shown itself here. Quite a standout.

This cute little thing is Arisarum proboscoides, called the Mouse Tail Plant. Its foliage is the arrowhead shaped stuff in the next photo down. The genus name celebrates the similarities of the flower with the Arisaemae (jack-in-the-pulpits and cobra lilies) and of the growth habit with the Asarums (hardy gingers); one really has to dig through the foliage to find the flowers.

I would have taken the piece of plastic out of there before taking the picture, but honestly didn't see it!!

Okay, back to peonies. The following 3 photos show variation of flower colour between plants from a single open-pollinated seedlot (collected here) of Paeonia veitchii (Veitch's Peony)
The darkest is really somewhat redder than the photo shows, but there is something about the way the camera catches the light which overemphasizes the blue tint. (and it has nothing to do with blue sky, because there was none that day or most other days since the start of May!!)
The mid-pink is most common, here.

Monday, June 06, 2011

More of White Anomala

As hoped, a better photo of the flower.

And a close-up of the reproductive parts. The stigmas seem very small.

My report of the possibility of a few more coming into bloom shortly was premature. Along the lines of "don't count your peonies until they flower"; all the others were the normal pink/rose. The relative paleness of the early foliage either a figment of my imagination or unrelated to the eventual flower colour. Well, now we know.

My two plants are co-located, but bloomed sequentially this year so no cross-pollination. For that matter no by-hand selfing either, since I never managedto get any pollen onto a brush for transfer. I hope the insects have done a good job for me. If there is a seed set, it will be about 2015 or 16 before I know if I have true seedlings, so don't start writing cheques yet.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

An Anomaly of the Anomaous Peony

After years of waiting, and from the wrong seed batch!, blooms of a Paeonia anomala forma alba: the white-flowered form of Paeonia anomala. One bloomed after a fashion last year, but the flower was stunted and damaged by weather and insects, so this year's is really my first. There is again some insect damage to the outer petals, which I don't ever see on normal pink anomala or any other peony for that matter! This is the first day, and the flower I think is not completely open; should get a fully-open photo added soon.

The foliage is lighter green than the species normally has (especially when first emerging), and without the reddish stem that marks most of my other anomala's, but is otherwise within the normal range for size, shape and narrowness of segmentation.

Two known plants (the bud of the second has coloured up but not yet opened) and a couple of others that I think will be white but the buds are still green. Which means that with a bit of skillful paintbrush hand-pollinating a decent seed set should result (if not this year then soon? I have noticed that some peonies do not set seed in their first year of flowering; and there is always the weather issue!)