At first opening Canary Brilliants has a very attractive beige color.

Canary Brilliants is one the finest Itoh-hybrids. This one has been bred by Roger Anderson and was registered in 1999. There are four Itoh-hybrids that I would candidly recommend: First Arrival, Garden Treasure, Pastel Splendour and Canary Brilliants. They all have well formed flowers and are very floriferous, both qualities that I don’t see in many other Itoh-hybrids I grow (although I don’t grow many new ones). Foliage is very good, as with nearly all Itohs. Canary Brilliants is taller than most (1 – 1,2 m) and it also being very wide (1,3 – 1,5 m) means that it is a very substantial plant in any garden. The flowers are slightly beige-orange upon first opening, in full sun, they then change into paler yellow. Rare for an Itoh peony this one also has use as a cutflower because its vase-life is better than most. As an added bonus, the flowers don’t change their color when opened inside. The trick to keep it well then is to remove all the foliage on the stem. It has a really exquisite strong fragrance that resembles that of many tree peonies.

It grows rapidly into a large plant, divides easily and as with all intersectionals, the foliage remains green until frost. Probably the only drawback it has will be the fading of the pretty color in the sun as mentioned above. Growing it in a spot where it does not get full sunlight all day long, might remedy this, or otherwise place an umbrella over it at flowering time.

The pretty enclosed flower buds of Canary Brilliants

It flowers slightly later than most other intersectionals. It has another particular characteristic that we have not seen in any other peony variety. One year our whole field of peonies was completely destroyed because of a massive hail storm at the end of the flowering season (beginning of June here). Not a single stem nor leaf remained after it. Shortly afterwards however it turned out that Canary Brilliants started growing again and after another 70 days flowered again, this time in August at the end of Summer. These were all well-grown plants and although the number of stems and flowers wasn’t as impressive as during the usual season, it’s fair to say that we did have some 4-5 stems on average per plant, with the large foliage that still was very attractive and each and every plant of Canary Brilliants flowered again (some 70 plants in all), there wasn’t a single one that didn’t grow again that same Summer. No other peony variety, intersectional or not, was able to do this. So for those that really want to have peony flowers several months later, it might be an option to mow mature plants of this variety after their first flowering completely to the ground and you’ll have flowers again within a short period of time. If it would work every year again is something we cannot attest to as we have not been mowing them down then several years in a row, but it would be worth a trial of course.

 

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       khurtekant
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      Growing peonies for cutflowers in Belgium. Also hybridizing them.

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