Articles about Peony species
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Sunday, March 4, 2018

2018 P. Rockii Peony Seedling Has 2 Buds in Second Year of Bloom


Paeonia rockii Seedling with 2 Buds

A Paeonia rockii seedling from a batch of seed I got in 2013 from Ebay, 2013 P. Rockii Peony Seeds from Cricket Hill Garden, has 2 buds on it. The rest of the seedlings from this batch of seed have yet to bloom. It had one bud and bloom on it last year in 2017, but I missed seeing it and photographing it until the flower was mostly gone. So I can't wait to see what it actually looks like this year. Considering this P. rockii tree peony is still growing in my peony seedling bed very close to its siblings and is still growing so well and so quickly, speaks very highly of its vigor. Hopefully I will get a chance to move it to a better home this fall, so that I can allow it to mature with more space for its roots to grow in. I will keep you posted on its flowers. Spring will be here before we know it!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

2017 Tree Peony Seeds from Canada Sprout!

I was beginning to wonder if any of those 2016 Paeonia rockii Purple Tree Peony Seeds that were sent to me as a replacement for the 2015 Purple Peony Rockii Seeds from Ebay Canada were going to sprout. Since none of the seeds from the original batch sprouted, I was worried that the second batch might not sprout either. However it seems the second batch of seeds were good because I now have 5 baby P. rockii tree peony seedlings from the second batch of seeds! How exciting! I am curious to see if any of these grow into a lovely purple flower with dark purple flares like the mother plant. Now that the seeds have actually sprouted, the only thing to do now is wait for a bloom! :-)

P. rockii Seeds Sprout

Sunday, February 26, 2017

2017 Tree Peony Paeonia ostii at Plant Delights Nursery Open House


Tree Peony Paeonia ostii Bloom

I had the opportunity to visit Plant Delights Nursery's winter open house this weekend. Even though it was the winter open house, it really felt like late spring or early summer. The temperature got up to 80 degrees, and it was so nice to have a spring like day to peruse the hellebores in bloom. I wasn't even planning to look at the peonies, even though I did notice that Tony introduced a new peony for the first time ever in his spring catalog (Peony 'Golden Sunrise').

Tree Peony Paeonia ostii
However, I just happened by a wonderful tree peony in bloom, and it smelled so good! Someone had pulled it out of its greenhouse, and it was sitting near the checkout lane. It turned out to be a Paeonia ostii seedling, and lucky for me there were several of them in the greenhouse and a couple that still had blooms on them. Needless to say one of them made the ride home with me, and perfumed by car during the whole trip! The scent on this tree peony is just heavenly!


Haul from Plant Delights Nursery Open House
(Including a Tree Peony Paeonia ostii)

If you hadn't noticed yet, the American Peony Society will be taking a tour of Plant Delights Nursery and Juniper Level Botanic garden during the 2017 APS Annual Convention. If you haven't yet made your plans to join us, now is the time to get your registration in! You might actually end up taking one of these awesome tree peonies (and likely several more plant friends too) home with you from the conference. ;-) If you'd like to know more about this Paeonia ostii species tree peony, take a look below at the catalog description from Plant Delight's Nursery's online catalog.


Plant Delight Nursery Paeonia ostii

(syn: Paeonia suffruticosa ssp. ostii) From China's Gansu, Hunan, and surrounding provinces comes an endangered tree peony species that was first published in 1992 and named after Italian peony expert, Dr. Gian Lupo Osti. Similar to Paeonia rockii, the 5' tall Paeonia ostii has narrower leaves and is topped in very early spring (mid-April in NC) with over 100 large, 6-8" wide, sweetly fragrant flowers. Paeonia ostii is unquestionably one of the finest peonies we've ever grown. Flower color ranges from white to pale pink, highlighted by a dark red central blotch and bright yellow stamens. Our plants are flowering-sized plants grown in the US. Interestingly, the 2004 publication, "The Genus Paeonia" says, "This is another recently established Chinese taxon that has not yet been introduced in the West."

Thursday, December 8, 2016

2016 Paeonia rockii Purple Tree Peony Seeds

Try, try again. Remember those Purple Peony Rockii Seeds from Ebay Canada last year? Well, after the P. Rockii Seeds Arrived via Air Mail from Canada they seemed a bit dry, and some of the bonus seeds were cracked upon arrival. None of the Purple Paeonia rockii tree peony seeds I ordered or any of the bonus seeds actually germinated this spring. I was quite disappointed. However, I decided to email the seller to see if she might be willing to replace the seeds since none of the actually sprouted. I explained to her that none of the seeds sprouted and nicely asked if she would send me another set of 10 seeds from this year's harvest. She agreed as long I remembered to email her again in the fall with a reminder. I emailed her two weeks ago with my address, and this week I received another set of Paeonia rockii Purple tree peony seeds in the mail. She didn't have to replace them, but she did. I am really happy and excited to see if this set of P. rockii tree peony seeds will actually sprout. It is little things like this that renew my faith in people. I am off to plant these seeds right away!

Replacement Paeonia rockii Purple Tree Peony Seeds

Saturday, September 24, 2016

2016 University of Vienna Botanical Garden Peonies


University of Vienna Botanical Garden Peony Garden

Yes, it was the end of summer, but I couldn't help checking out the peonies at the University of Vienna Botanical Garden on my trip last week. This botanical garden is quite strict in its definition of botanical. The are several varieties of peonies. All of them are species peonies however, except for one Paeonia suffruticosa selection - perhaps because there are no longer any true representations of this species left. In this Vienna, Austria garden they grow their peonies in an open, oval bed surrounded by grass and trees (at some distance). The soil is flat and bare, not covered by any type of mulch.

University of Vienna Botanical Garden Peony Garden

The species I found represented in their garden are Paeonia delavayi, Paeonia emodi, Paeonia lactiflora, Paeonia mairei, Paeonia mascula, Paeonia officinalis ssp. officinalis, Paeonia peregrina, Paeonia rockii, Paeonia suffruticosa 'Duchesse de Morny', and Paeonia tenuifolia. So they have 10 varieties of peonies growing there. Not quite enough to be listed on the American Peony Society Peony Garden Map, but still worth a visit if you are in the area or are particularly interested in species peonies.

Me with a Very Tall Paeonia delavayi Peony Plant

I was quite surprised to find this particularly tall representation of Paeonia delavayi. I must admit I have never seen a P. delavayi peony growing this tall. It was almost as tall as me. The one P. delavayi peony plant I tried to grow here lasted for a few years, but each year it became smaller and smaller and eventually died. I will have to try again after seeing how successful their plants are. Also according to Wikipedia, the growing zone in Vienna, Austria is equivalent to a growing zone 8a, which is warmer than my own growing zone 7b. Someone's calculations must be incorrect. Perhaps mine is a bit warmer or theirs is a bit cooler. The temperatures here this week are still in the 80s for the last week of September, and their temperatures were in the 60s for most of last week. It also surprises me considering they seem to be able to grow the Paeonia tenuifolia (fern leaf peony) there, which does not grow at all here in my climate.

University of Vienna Botanical Garden Peony Paeonia emodi

I was also happy to meet this Paeonia emodi plant growing in their garden. I had never seen this plant before, nor have I ever seen its roots or seeds for sale. Its foliage particularly delighted me. The leaves are so long and wide too, very gracefully coming to a nicely symmetrical, pointed tip. It is supposed to have a pretty single white flower. Here are some of the other species peonies that were growing in the University of Vienna Botanical Garden. Please feel free to click on any photo to see a larger version.
Paeonia delavayi
Paeonia lactiflora
  
Paeonia mairei
Paeonia mascula
  
Paeonia officinalis ssp. officinalis
Paeonia peregrina
  
Paeonia rockii
Paeonia suffruticosa
'Duchesse de Morny'
  
Paeonia tenuifolia

Saturday, January 30, 2016

2016 Species in APS Handbook of the Peony 1st Edition

It was nice to take a little time for myself this past weekend and catch up on a little reading. I purchased the Manual of the American Peony Society First Edition (aka APS Handbook of the Peony 1st Edition) almost three years ago now (before my son Maddox!). Yikes! Yes, it got put to the side even though I was almost finished. However, a hot bath with some peony soaking salts from K. Hall Design Peony Products and a little free time netted me a few more pages. I was able to finish the section on species peonies. Apparently there was much confusion and many more categories of species peonies back when this book was written in 1928. The author links many of the species classes together noting there are little difference between x and y categories. It seems this topic has been subject to many revisions over the years with each plant discoverer and Paeonia genus researcher using their own methods of peony species classifications. It will be nice when one day all of them have been DNA mapped and we are able to classify them conclusively!

Manual of the American Peony Society
Plate XXXIX. Officinalis rubra plena

Friday, December 18, 2015

2015 P. Rockii Seeds Arrived via Air Mail from Canada


The Purple Peony Rockii Seeds from Ebay Canada that I ordered three weeks ago arrived earlier this week. They arrived sooner than Ebay expected them to get here. Ebay's system said "Estimated delivery Tue, Jan 26 - Mon, Feb 01". I'm sure glad they were wrong. It's already a bit late here, since I planted my own peony seeds 4 months ago in September, 2015 Fall Peony Seed Planting and Donation. These peony seeds may not have enough time to germinate this year, but I hope they will or at least some of them will. People often say that it takes two years to germinate a peony seed. However, the majority of the seeds I plant will germinate the first year, especially if they are from my own garden (that way I know the seeds are fresh, and I can plant them right away).

So I got these P. rockii seeds planted right away. The seller was kind enough to send some extra of the Purple Paeonia Rockii seeds and 3 Pink Double Paeonia Rockii seeds as a gift. However, it seems the Pink Double Paeonia Rockii seeds were crushed in shipping or had been in the plastic too long, as the shell of the seeds had been broken and some of the shell pieces were stuck to the plastic bubble wrap. One of these seeds was missing its shell entirely, leaving the inner white part of the seed exposed. I planted all of them anyway. I will be especially curious to see if all 3 of these Pink Double Paeonia seeds germinate. We shall see what spring will bring! :-)

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

2015 Purple Peony Rockii Seeds from Ebay Canada

I have been wanting to grow a flower like this for a long time. I love purple! A peony with purple petals and dark purple flares is right up my alley. So I'm hoping these Paeonia rockii babies will be just as gorgeous as their beautiful mother. Of course when I came across the listing for these seeds on Ebay, I just had to buy some. Also this seller is in Canada, not in China where these plants originate. So I may have a better chance of actually receiving the correct seeds that are from this year's crop as stated in the auction. Since it will take a few years to actually find out what these babies look like, a lot of patience is in order to see their beautiful blossoms. I will definitely document their germination rates in the spring! Let's hope they all grow! :-)

Purple Paeonia Rockii with Dark Purple Flares
Photo Courtesy of The Seed Harvest

Friday, April 24, 2015

2015 Free Peony Seeds from APS Seed Program

I got my free seeds from the American Peony Society Seed Distribution Progam this week! The APS has a benefit that allows seed donors to select a free packet of peony seeds for every 2 varieties of peony seeds you donate. I donated seeds last fall to the program, which allowed me to pick out Free Seeds for Peony Seed Donors when the seeds are distributed in the spring. Last year was the first year I donated seeds to the program. In previous years, I have purchased seeds from the program. So it was nice to get free peony seeds this year! I got every variety I requested, except one that was sold out. I ordered p. clusii, p. ludlowii, p. mascula subsp. bodurii, Zi Die Ying Fen- (Purple Butterfly in the Wind), and Jack Nordick’s Lactiflora Mixture. Apparently p. mascula subsp. bodurii was already sold out. So p. delavayi was substituted. I ordered these seeds only about a week after the peony seed list was posted to the web. So popular seeds sell out quickly. If you haven't gotten your order in yet, now's the time to do it before all of the best varieties are sold out!

Free Seeds from the APS Seed Distribution Program

I planted the seeds in my peony seedling bed a couple days after I received them. There was a space in the bed where several species peony varieties never sprouted for me. These were seeds I'd purchased from the APS Seed Program and planted in 2010. I think 5 years is long enough to wait to see if they will sprout. So some new species seeds have their spot now, and we'll see next spring if any of these seeds germinate!

Friday, September 19, 2014

2014 Peony obovata willmottiae Red & Blue Seed Pods

Wow! I said it once about this peony when it bloomed, First Bloom on Peony P. obovata var. willmottiae, and I'll say it again! If you want a peony that's going to brighten up your shade garden in spring and in fall, then Peony P. obovata var. willmottiae is definitely the peony for you! The white blooms with a burgundy and gold center really brighten up the shade garden in the spring, but the eye-popping fuchsia, red, and blue seed pods are like watching a brightly colored fireworks display in early fall! So if you were thinking you needed another reason to grow this shade loving beauty, then you've definitely got one!

Peony obovata var. willmottiae Seed Pod

Friday, May 2, 2014

2014 Peony Seedlings from Cricket Hill - P. Rockii

Of all the seeds I've purchased, I have to say that the Tree Peony P. Rockii Seeds on Ebay from Cricket Hill Garden are definitely the most viable. Their germination rate is 17 out of 20, that's 85%! That is a fantastic germination rate, considering the best I usually get from species peony seeds from the APS Seed Sale is 30-40% (and sometimes 0%). That is over twice the germination rate. Perhaps the seeds were fresher since they were sent directly from the grower. I'm very excited to have all of these P. rockii seedlings. Now I'll be able to select the best of the best for my climate, the fastest growing, the most disease resistant, the most floriferous, the best foliage, the best blooms, etc.

P. Rockii Peony Seedlings from Ebay, Cricket Hill Garden

I'm sad to say that the 105 Ali Express Chinese Tree Peony Seeds did not sprout at all. I'm beginning to wonder if the reports of boiled peony seeds from China are true, or perhaps they were just too old to sprout. It is curious since they were all so carefully labeled. Perhaps another year in the ground will soften their casings, and they can sprout a root this fall. We'll see if any of them sprout a leaf next spring... It seems like Ebay is the place to buy tree peony seeds. The Chinese Peony Seeds from Ebay actually did well germinating this spring. One of the colors (P3 Blue) actually had an 8 out of 20 germination rate, which is 40%. It's not the most impressive, but considering none of the 105 Chinese seeds I purchased from Ali Express sprouted, it's pretty good.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

2014 First Bloom on Peony P. obovata var. willmottiae


Peony obovata var. willmottiae

Wow! I have been waiting 5 years for a bloom on this peony. It finally bloomed today!!! I purchased this species peony from Plant Delights nursery in 2009, and it bloomed for the first time this year. It had been steadily growing larger and larger each year, but only making small increases in size. It still only has one stem. I didn't even realize there was a bud on the plant until I saw it in bloom today! It is very beautiful. The flower is medium size, not huge, but not small either, and it has interesting colorations in the center of the bloom. It has burgundy colored filaments tipped with yellow anthers, while the stigmas are a matching yellow color tipped in burgundy. The foliage is a light, bright green color. This P. obovata var. willmottiae species peony grows happily in the filtered shade in my garden.

Peony obovata var. willmottiae Bloom


Peony obovata var. willmottiae Plant

Friday, April 26, 2013

2013 P. Rockii Peony Seeds from Cricket Hill Garden

Last week I got the Tree Peony P. Rockii Seeds I ordered from Ebay. They apparently came from Cricket Hill Garden. I wasn't sure, but I thought these seeds might come from a private individual. The seeds came with a very nice catalog from Cricket Hill Garden as well. I think they normally charge $2.00 for a copy of their catalog. So I've never gotten a copy since I don't like to pay for catalogs. It looks like Cricket Hill Garden is using Ebay as a creative marketing tool - sell some seeds, send a free catalog. The catalog actually has some interesting information about Japanese and Chinese tree peonies, which is great since I don't know a lot about the differences and history of both of these type of peonies. So I was very happy to receive the catalog with the seeds. The Ebay auction was for "15 Fresh Tree Peony P. Rockii Seeds USA GROWN", and they actually send 20 seeds. So that was nice of them. I will definitely be leaving them positive feedback on Ebay! I can't wait to see how these grow!

P. Rockii Seeds and Catalog from Cricket Hill Gardens

Sunday, April 21, 2013

2013 Planted P. Rockii and P. Ludlowii Peony Plants

Today I planted the P. Rockii Peony Plant that Arrived last week in the mail from Edelweiss Perennials. I decided to keep in in the pot for a short while to make sure it had plenty of water this week, and it looks like it helped it a lot. The leaves are no longer wilted looking, and it seems like it even grew a bit. I guess I planted it in the correct place as well. I planted it where it will receive some afternoon shade. From what I just read, it seems that the P. rockii tree peonies generally go into early dormancy in places that have hot, dry summers. It sounds like this guy is in for a challenge in this southern climate. Luckily I planted it in a location that will give the plant a bit of relief from our long and hot summers here.

P. rockii Peony Planted


I also got the P. ludlowii peony plant I ordered from Ebay planted today as well. This one looks like a nice plant except it looks like it already has botrytis blight on its stems. This worries me since the seller of this plant calls it a P. delavayi var. lutea ludlowii. The other P. delavayi plant I have with red flowers on it has not done very well here and is always diseased. I hope this yellow P. delavayi variety does not have the same poor performance here. We shall see...

P. ludlowii Peony Planted

Thursday, April 11, 2013

2013 P. Rockii Peony Plant Arrived

Well, the P. Rockii Species Peony from Edelweiss Perennials that I ordered last week arrived today. It looks like a nice size plant, although the leaves looked a little wilted, presumably from its trip through the mail system. So I decided to let it take a dip and rest in the shade this afternoon. The plant was well protected in its box except for its dirt, some of which was dispersed inside the package. The roots of the tree peony were showing since the top soil has been displaced. (This could have been prevented by putting the pot in a plastic bag and using a twist tie to close the plastic bag around the stem. I've gotten several other plants in the mail this way, and it seems to work very well.) So anyway I added a little potting soil and water to the top of 4" pot, that was supposed to be a quart - which I plan to contact the company about. So we will see what they say about that. Otherwise, the plant seems to be a good one with nice foliage. It's supposed to rain tomorrow, which is good since it's so hot all of a sudden. Hopefully it will cool us down a bit and keep the ground a little moist. Then I should be able to plant out this P. rockii on Saturday. :-)

P. Rockii Peony Plant

Sunday, April 7, 2013

2013 P. Rockii Species Peonies at Edelweiss Perennials

Wow. Google is my friend. :-) I found a P. rockii peony using Google offered by Edelweiss Perennials. I've never heard of this nursery before, but I thought I'd take a chance. It seems like they a large variety of plants. They even have several other species peonies to choose from (Paeonia delavayi, Paeonia intermedia, Paeonia lutea var. ludlowii, Paeonia mairei, Paeonia mascula subsp. arietina, Paeonia mlokosewitschii, Paeonia obovata var. willmottiae, Paeonia peregrina, Paeonia potaninii, Paeonia rockii ssp. rockii, and Paeonia tenuifolia). Some of them I've not seen offered elsewhere (like Paeonia intermedia, P. mairei, P. potaninii, P. triternata), and their prices are very reasonable. If the P. rockii peony I purchase from them does well, I may order some additional species plants from them later this year or next year. I'm really excited to see the white and purple blooms of the Paeonia rockii!

P. rockii Peony at Edelweiss Perennials

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

2013 Tree Peony P. Rockii Seeds on Ebay

I've been wanting a P. rockii tree peony for quite some time, but I have yet to acquire one. So I decided to buy some of the P. rockii tree peony seeds that I found for sale on Ebay. They were kind of expensive ($7.50), but not as expensive as the plant itself (which is usually $50+). So I decided to give them a try. Plus the $7.50 price did include the shipping. So I guess it's not too bad. I've purchased some P. rockii and P. rockii hybrid seeds from the APS Peony Seed Sale before, but they have yet to germinate. I'm hoping these will do something since they're advertised as USA grown and fresh. We shall see...

Sunday, March 17, 2013

2013 Peony Experiments - Peony Seeds in Bags

After ordering some Peony Seeds from Hirt's Gardens, I decided to grow the seeds in plastic bags based on some interesting instructions the seeds came with. I've never grown any peony seeds in bags before. So I decided to give it a try to see what would happen, whether they would sprout, and what the germination rates would be following this method. It has been three weeks now, and as you can see, there are no peony seeds sprouting in any of my plastic bags. In fact the only thing sprouting in my plastic bags is mold. As you can see in the second picture below, the two P. ludlowii seeds are both covered in mold. The rest of the bags appear to be mold free, but they are also root free as well. I am still going to plant these seeds in the ground, and hopefully some of them will still sprout anyway. For me this method did not work. I'd be curious to know if anyone else has been successful with this method, and if they have any tips. Sometime I think keeping things simple is the best way, let Mother Nature work her magic...

Peony Seeds in Bags with Moist Vermiculite


Mold Growing on Peony Seeds in Bag

Friday, February 8, 2013

2013 Peony Seeds From Hirt's Gardens

Talk about instant gratification - I ordered these seeds on Sunday, and they arrived in my mailbox on Wednesday! I must say I am impressed with Hirt's Gardens and the seeds I ordered from them on Ebay. All of the seeds were the correct number as promised except for P. banatica, which had one extra seed in it. This is what I received: P. ludlowii (2 seeds), P. mascula (5 seeds), P. officinalis banatica (5 seeds), P. tenuifolia (5 seeds), and P. wittmanniana (5 seeds). The peony seeds came with some interesting instructions. "PLACE SEED IN MOIST VERMICULITE IN PLASTIC BAG. PLACE IN WARM AREA OF THE HOUSE OUT OF THE SUN. WHEN THE ROOTS APPEAR, MOVE TO REFRIGERATOR FOR 10-12 WEEKS. TRANSPLANT WHEN SHOOT ARISE." I must admit I've never gone to that much trouble to germinate any seeds before. The most effort I've put forth is starting my vegetable seeds indoors for my vegetable garden, but no refrigeration was required. I might actually follow these instructions out of curiosity just to see what happens. I'll let you know how they do...

Peony Seeds from Hirt's Gardens

Thursday, February 7, 2013

2013 Planting APS Peony Seed Packets

Well I finally got my seeds planted yesterday from the 2012 APS Seed Sale. I know it is really late, but the ground never really freezes here anyway. So the soil is still very workable. Anyway I got all 5 varieties planted - P. ostii (10 seeds), P. rockii (5 seeds), P. rockii & P. suffruticosa mixture (5 seeds), P. suffruticosa - purple (4 seeds), and P. veitchii - pink, single (11 seeds). I soaked them overnight to try to help them germinate. I kept them in separate containers so I could keep track of the varieties. Then I planted them with peony variety name labels in my new seedling test bed, which has really nice soil. So if they will grow anywhere, that would be the place. I'll record their germination rates in the spring. Also after reading my previous post about purchasing the seeds at the 2012 APS Convention Peony Seed Sale, I realized there was one more variety, P. suffruticosa 'Kamada Nishiki' - lavender pink (5 seeds). I just found the packet of peony seeds hidden on my desk. So I'll soak those tonight and plant them tomorrow.

Soaking APS Peony Seeds