Today I saw some nice peony images in an Instagram post from Saaremaa Puukool, which is apparently a nursery in Estonia. They are from one particular favorite of mine, which is a double white lactiflora peony named Amalia Olson. As it happens I grow this one as a cut flower in quite large numbers. It may have pale pink buds, which is a small drawback when you want to sell it as ‘white’, but there are so many good qualities to it that it’s hard not to love it.


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Valge aed on iga aedniku unistus. Siin see on, valge aia kuninganna Saaremaa Puukooli pojeng AMALIA OLSON (Paeonia lactiflora). Aretaja: C. Olson/Nelson, USA. Registreeritud 1959.a. Auhinnad: Home Achievement Medal National Show in North Dakota 1959. APS Gold Medal 2011. Peony of the Year 2012. Eestis saadaval ainult Saaremaa Puukoolis! #saaremaapojengid #pojeng #saaremaapuukool #pojengid #peony #peonies #peonie #peonyflower #peonygarden #maarmastanpojenge #peon #amaliaolson #kenalugu #amaliaolsonpeony #saaremaa #visitaaaremaa #saaremaasuvi #kasvatatudsaaremaal #ehtnesaaremaatoode #saaremaaisland #saaremaal #saaremaanature #kuressaare #pojengiaeg #pojengiaed #gardenpeony #peonias

Een bericht gedeeld door Saaremaa Puukool (@saaremaapojengid) op

Now this is a peony that has sturdy stems, dark green leaflets and very large flowers that are truly well formed when open. The color when open is snow-white and it is extremely pretty. But added to that it is one of the most fragrant peonies I know and it is truly a heavenly fragrance. I simply cannot resist putting my nose in such an open flower when I pass them. It grows well, is very healthy and is surely in my top-10 list of best peonies. It has collected several awards as can be seen from the instagram post above. It hasn’t received an Award Of Landscape Merit (ALM) from the American Peony Society (APS) unfortunately. Perhaps because the flowers may fall to the ground eventually in very, very bad weather, but under normal circumstances they remain upright and the stems are more than adequate in my opinion.

A mature plant of Amalia Olson

Now this is also a peony with a ‘history’. In an APS-bulletin from long ago, December 1959 to be precise, the origin of this cultivar was described, probably by George Peyton, a man with an immense knowledge of peonies, peony varieties and peony growers at that time:

Amalia Olson

Click the image to enlarge this article about peony Amalia Olson

From all the above it is quite obvious that Amalia Olson is a peony we highly recommend. It is not too expensive as it has been introduced a long time ago and as it propagates well. It is available from several specialized peony nurseries, just have a look at your favorite nurseries’ catalogues and you’ll usually find it. In a few years’ time you may be walking around your garden and putting your nose in that perfectly formed white as well :-)


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