Growing herbaceous peonies - varieties and care
Gone are the days when in our front gardens nameless bushes of pions grew - one necessarily early, dark red, still white and somewhat pink. Now you want something more, there is a lot of varieties on the market. But the success of hybridization, the emergence of new cultivars, the fashion for Japanese and anemone varieties seriously complicate the task of selecting suitable specimens.
And since a peony plant is a long-liver, then we do not have the right to make a mistake.
Let's try to tell about what to prefer, what features of the variety to pay attention to and what fashion trends are now observed in the world of peonies.
We will talk about grassy peonies These are the varieties obtained from peony fungus, and modern hybrids. Species peonies, which have become fashionable to plant in gardens, as well as Ito hybrids, as well as tree-like - the topic of a separate conversation.
The main attention we will pay to the business card of the plant - its flowers. Everything else: the flowering period, the habitus of the bush, its height, the features of the foliage - although it matters, but not so important when choosing. Rather, these qualities must be taken into account when planning a landing site. Such information is not difficult to find in catalogs and reference books, including on the Internet.
The choice of a peony is a responsible matter, for every novice lover of these flowers, I would like to wish not to perform spontaneous actions, acquiring a cat in a poke. Try to visit exhibitions to look at the varieties you are interested in "live". It happens that when you see a peony, you will lose peace and sleep: so it will be beautiful! Learn the assortment on the sites, because the pictures there are more true. In printed publications, unfortunately, the color is distorted, and they can not be judged fully on the merits of a particular variety.
See also: Peonies - planting and varieties (photo)
Classical varieties of grassy peonies
I must say that among the grassy peonies there are no absolutely mongrel, without a clan and tribe. Just for the prescription of years, wandering from the front garden to the front garden, they lost their name. And meanwhile, all our nameless bushes, as a rule, are heirs of those that were erected more than a century ago in France, where in the XIX century there was a center for the selection of these plants. There were such originators as Kalo, Kruss, Lemoine, Desser, Millet, Doria, Rivoire.
In Russia peonies brought from Europe were first grown in botanical gardens and apothecary gardens and used as medicinal plants. Then they began to be planted in the manor houses, and later, after the revolution, they wandered around the village front gardens. Actually, the idea of what should be a classic peony, has developed in our people under the influence of French varieties.
It is believed that, in the first place, the peony must exude a wonderful aroma: without a smell, it is not a peony at all, as most people think. Absolutely all the old classical varieties created by French gardeners smell like expensive perfume: lilies of the valley, old roses, lilacs or carnations, jasmine or citrus. And the flowers they have are magnificent terry, pink, crowned, globular or hemispherical.
White. Many varieties of the French heritage have white flowers or different tones of white. It can be white with a lemon tint, like 'Duchesse de Nemours' (1856) or 'Enchanteresse' (1903); pinkish at dissolution, and then brightening up to pure-white 'Mme de Vernevilie' (1885); 'Avalanche' (1886) - white with a pink center. Or creamy, with pink saturation to the center of 'La Lorraine' (1901); white-cream 'Marie Lemoine' (1869) or cream with a light pink shade, now extremely rare Solange (1907). Have 'Madame Emile Lemoine' (1899) pink petals on the petals and red markings in the center. Another stunning historical peony with amazing aroma and large pink-cream-white flowers with a yellow highlight in the center - 'Mme Jules Dessert' (1909).
The most, perhaps, famous of white French peonies is the famous Testiva Maxima (1857), it is also the most common and recognizable: abundantly blossoming, with cherry-red marks on pure white petals.
Pink. Among the old French varieties preserved many pions with flowers of pink shades. And the most famous of them is, of course, unsurpassed 'Sarah Bernhardt', deduced by Lemoine in 1906 year. And truly fantastic beauty pink caps of perfect colors, harmonious bush and abundant flowering make this peony one of the most famous and desired in our gardens.
In addition to the "classics of the genre", in the line of French pink peonies there are a lot of masterpieces: it is pink and lilac 'Albert Crousse' (1893), and similar to it, only with silvery tips of petals, 'Monsieur Jules Elie' (1888). Or 'Alice Harding' (1922) with dark pink outer petals and a creamy-white crown; light pink 'Belle Douasienne' (1861), pink-red Mme Reignoux (1909) and 'Madelon' (1922) with light pink outer petals and a creamy pink crown.
The Reds. Sorts of "French" this color is not so much, but they are all outstanding: this is the early 'Aviateur Bleriot' (the year of creation is unknown), and the red-pink 'Linne' (1860), and the famous late 'Marechal Mac-Mahon' (1867), and dark red with a purple tint 'Inspecteur Lavergne' (1924), and purple-cherry with silvery tips 'Felix Crousse' (1881).
All French classic varieties have proved their viability, they are all long-lived and have unsurpassed qualities - an amazing smell, a variety of color nuances, a perfect form of a flower. They are beautiful in cutting, a bouquet of such peonies long stands in a vase, filling the room with an incomparable odor. Planting such varieties in your garden is a great success.
Grassy peonies are the leaders of sales
In recent years, our cultivators are most in demand for American varieties. The fact is that after the First World War, the pion breeding center moved to the United States, where a large number of nurseries arose, well-known originators worked, giving the world new varieties: Wilde, Kreckler, Clem, Kundred, Sass, Nicole, Cooper, Shaylor.
The American Society of Peonodeepers was also organized there. As before, the US remains leader in selection work. In addition to traditional varieties, here every year there are new items of interspecific selection.
News of recent years, in particular, have become green peacocks 'Green Lotus' and 'Green Halo'. Finally, the breeders obtained yellow and lemon grassy peonies - they received 'Goldilocks' and 'Lemon Chiffon', which appeared in our country, but are still very expensive. The supply and demand vector is gradually shifting towards hybrids with anemoid and Japanese flower forms resulting from crossing pione with other species - peonies drug, pioneer evader, pioneer Mlokosevich. American varieties and interspecies hybrids, worthy of attention, hundreds.
Which ones can I recommend?
White terry grassy peonies.
Extremely abundantly blooming 'Gladys Hodson', white-cream with a shade of ivory; one of the latest 'George J. Nicholls', white, with an amber tint from the inside; gorgeous fragrant 'James Lewis', with large shades of ivory; 'Corinne Wersan' - cream with a pink center; 'Marilla Beauty body-white shade, with abundant flowering; cream 'Norma Volz'; 'Florence Nicholls' - outer petals light pink with cream-yellow base, crown cream, crest of light tone; 'Cheddar Surprise' - white outside, light yellow belt of the color of seasoned cheese, with a high cream center; white-cream 'Elsa Sass'.
Pink grassy peonies.
Among the outstanding double peonies of American selection are: elegant 'Dresden Pink', bright pink, with silvery "shaggy" edges; bright lilac-pink 'Alexander Fleming'; 'Princess Margaret' with lush, slightly flattened pink flowers; Light pink with a salmon shade from the inside 'Mrs. Franklin D. Roosewelt '; salmon-pink with huge flat flowers, reminiscent of a plate, 'Dinner Plate'; fragrant, pink with a lilac shade 'Pink Formal'; creamy-pink, bright Doris Cooper; pink with light marks of red Jessie Gist; The Fawn, pink with a dark pink nakrapom, with bright strokes in the center; incomparable tricolor 'Cornelia Shaylor with delicate-pink outer petals, mother-of-pearl crown and pink center; sparkling pink-red, abundant and vigorous 'Pink Jazz'; bright pink 'Susie Q'; trichromatic 'Whopper' with light pink outer petals, a huge sphere of cream petals in the crown and a light pink center; 'Cincinnati' - dark pink with silver tips; sparkling, dark pink 'Emma Klehm'.
Red terry. In this group are especially good 'Black Velvet', velvety dark red, fragrant; 'Karl Rosenfield', dark ruby with a bluish tint, with complete dissolution visible stamens; popular 'Paul M. Wild', bright red, shining, not burnt; 'Red Satin'Red, rare tone with satin glitter; fragrant 'Sinbad', dark-bright red with silver tips; bright red with a lilac tone, exceptionally abundantly blooming 'Felix Supreme'.
Varieties with Japanese and an anthropoid form of a flower.
Ordinary pion lovers have yet to understand and appreciate the gentle charm of these peonies. Although the most advanced lovers of these flowers have already managed to collect impressive collections. Among the most popular: 'Neon', carmine pink with large pink staminodes with a yellow edge, fragrant; semi-double fragrant Paula Fay, with rich carmine-pink petals, bright yellow center; very bright, well recognizable 'White Cap', dark pink with a white contrasting "cap" of staminoids; 'Lotus Queen', white with long yellow staminodes, similar to a lotus flower.
As for interspecies hybrids, today there are a great many of them, they differ in a wide variety of shapes and colors. What can I advise to begin with? The masterpiece of selection remains a dark pink terry globular 'Angelo Cobb Freeborn', received by a modest rural teacher Mary Fribory as a result of interspecific crossing.
Describe this miracle of nature is quite difficult - it must be seen! Huge balls of cyclamen-pink color from corrugated petals ...
To date, this variety is recognized as the best terry peony. However, it has a number of drawbacks: a rather unpleasant smell and a very high price. Attractive 'Diana Parks', bright red, with an orange tinge. Many people are able to drive the beauty of a peony peony crazy 'Carol' - bright red, shiny, rosy-shaped. Efficient 'Old Faithful', rosy, dark red, with velvety petals. The darkest of all existing pions is a semi-double 'Sable', almost black and red, with a brown tint, yellow stamens and dark golden anthers. Deserves attention Ellen cowley, sparkling, pure scarlet, as the flowers grow pink.
Russian varieties of grassy peonies
Our breeders also made a significant contribution to the world piggy bank. They obtained a number of outstanding varieties and hybrids. In the 1950-ies appeared 'Varenka', beloved until now.
This terry variety is densely "stuffed" with flowers, dark pink color, abundantly blooming and fragrant, very good. At the same time "came out" and dark red 'Arkady Gaidar'. Its distinctive feature is very decorative reddish stems and petioles. The great success was the appearance of the Memory of Academician Tsitsin. The name he received in honor of the first director of the Main Botanical Garden. Dark green large leaves, stained petioles, phenomenal size flowers up to 20 cm in diameter, marvelous build and color, fragrant, cream with a pink tinge, later lighten to white, with bright raspberry smears in the center. And most importantly - extremely abundant and long flowering. The bush is powerful, tall, looks great in a single planting.
Equally admirable is the 'Memory of Gagarin' (1957), the name was given to a promising seedling after the death of the cosmonaut. In domestic breeding, this is a very special peony: once you see, you can not forget its light pink flowers with a saturation of color to the center, with a yellow highlight - and all this splendor against a background of dark green shiny foliage.
The pride of domestic breeding is rightly considered a hybrid 'The news of Altai'. Bright pink-lilac flowers of simple form with wavy, like ruches, edges of petals, on the first, unsophisticated look may seem unusual for a peony. My husband, by the way, was very surprised at the sight of the first flower blooming, learning that it was a peony. However, a few years later, when the plant showed itself in all its glory, there was no end to the admiration of all whoever saw it. Yes, and how not to admire: the bush during flowering is covered with light flowers, as if flocks of butterflies flocked to it. And what is surprising, in cloudy weather and in the evening the flowers are closed.
One of the latest successes of domestic breeders is the peony 'Pearl placer' (1989), light pink-pearly, with cream-pink staminodes, similar to long eyelashes, which fill the entire center of the flower. Bowl-shaped flat flowers resemble open pearl shells, exuding the aroma of roses.
Chinese varieties of grassy peonies
In conclusion, I want to say that of the more than 4000 varieties registered in the world registry, the lion's share is in China, but we are, alas, completely unknown. Sometimes in online stores, it happens, you will come across bright boxes from the Middle Kingdom. Quite cheap little pieces with flowery, absolutely Chinese metaphorical spirit, names like 'Blue Lake', 'Snow Lotus', 'Pink Pearl' or 'Red Hydrangea'. But what will grow out of this is unknown, an absolute lottery. There are suspicions that the buoyant Chinese suppliers simply rename all the familiar varieties. You can, of course, experiment - suddenly lucky, and you will become the master of the unprecedented beauty of the peony.
Reference by topic: Tree-like peonies or peonies in science
Work on interspecies hybridization led to the appearance of the so-called coral series.
'Coral Charm' - Early, with huge semi-double flowers of coral-orange color, which turns into peach-orange by the end of flowering, is considered one of the best varieties for cutting.
'Coral Supreme' also semi-double, but he has more petals. The flower is multi-rowed, cup-shaped, unique for pions of salmon-coral color. Another American hybrid, pink-coral Coral Fay, with flowers of a smaller size than the previous varieties, semi-double.
Fans of coral shades can be recommended Pink Hawaiian CoRal, early flowering, coral pink, with creamy pestles, bright and plentiful. His flowers smell very nice, like fresh hay.
It must be said that long before the appearance of coral novelties, a unique hybrid of 'Cytherea' was obtained. It dissolves in a relatively early period, the flowers have the form of large flowers of a luminous bright pink bathing gown. Later, magical transformations begin: the petals gradually acquire a salmon shade, and later become gently pink.
And interestingly, the flowers of all shades are on the bush at the same time - the spectacle is amazing! In inclement weather and in the evening they close their doors. This hybrid remains the favorite among coral.
I do not know a single person, even far from floriculture, who would not have frozen in mute astonishment, seeing in my garden an American hybrid 'Henry Bockstoce '. And how not to be amazed at the sight of huge, with a child's head, double flowers, with shiny pomegranate-red petals that sit on sturdy peduncles? This is a miracle of nature - an invariable favorite of exhibitions and a winner in the category of audience sympathy.
Attention is drawn to the "Americans" 'Red Charm 'and'Red Grace ', both dark red, early flowering, repeated winners of exhibitions. Shrubs of a harmonious shape, bloom abundantly.
Of the rose varieties for mandatory use, one can recommend the outstanding peony of the American selection 'Kansas', with delightful large, up to 20 cm diameter, colors of an unprecedented bright red shade with a lilac tint.
And from belotsvetkovyh enormous success enjoys 'Miss America ' with the middle of yellow staminoids, like a large daisy with a diameter of up to 25 cm (not to be confused with the red 'America' variety). However, it should warn: it is capricious and grows very slowly! As an alternative, you can put a very similar Bute with a flower of Japanese form, large petals and a core of staminoids in the color of yolks, which makes it look like eggs. The variety is fragrant and effective in the garden.