The Peony Society

random social media image

Dec 2019

Current Management and Research on Cut Peonies Webinar
, Dec 18th

Jun 2020

APS Convention 2020
United States, Jun 13th - Jun 14th

Latest magazine articles

Latest forum activity

Recent cultivar comments

  • khurtekant posted an update 2 months, 1 week ago

    Those interested to know more about the professional peony growing business in Alaska, a new article in Chronica Horticulturae (the members monthly magazine of the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS)) tells all about it.
    Holloway, P. “Peonies as field grown cut flowers in Alaska.” In: Chronica Horticulturae, vol 59, nr 3, 2019,…[Read more]

  • Gang,

    This is probably no secret to many of you, but if you are planting with the hope of digging and making divisions in the future, it’s best to plant young seedlings and single or double-rooted divisions horizontally on their sides.   When dividing and making planting pieces with the intent of digging the resulting plants in the future for…[Read more]

  • Udo became a registered member 2 months, 1 week ago

  • Caroline became a registered member 2 months, 1 week ago

  • sabrina-solskin replied to the topic Tree peonies in the forum Species 2 months, 2 weeks ago

    Hi Heidi again

    I forget to mention – your asking for what type – species is the tree peony group P.suffruticosa !!
    P. suffruticosa – Is not a species – it is a group of different tree peonies

    So in fact.. it is a hybrid tree epony – where different types of tree peonies ocur if you breed them further.
    I learned this by ; Will mc Lewin ( UK )

    He…[Read more]

  • So good Koen

    The most breeders should read this.. i have for many years.. and here is the basic.. for breeders


  • sabrina-solskin replied to the topic Tree peonies in the forum Species 2 months, 2 weeks ago

    Hi Heidi

    Sorry i have not seen this ..before.. But

    All my respect for Koen.. but he writes he do not know.. so its ok

    But – Kao is from china – In china they have the practice to use the seeds by Kao and also the practice that all other suffruticosa that looks like Kao – they call Kao – this means, if you have got, as we can se more than 1 Kao…[Read more]

  • Bob is right..its called Reverse cross

    Or ´Cross back `

    But, as i learned by Don Hollingsworth – there is a natural barrier to the parents

    Also it would be good you read, the post in the library..where some early breeders have done it and write about it – Because in the 2 generation of 2 parents.. there is a low fertility.. but we have found…[Read more]

  • sabrina-solskin became a registered member 2 months, 2 weeks ago

  • Linda's profile was updated 2 months, 3 weeks ago

  • linda-goh became a registered member 2 months, 3 weeks ago

  • Serife became a registered member 2 months, 3 weeks ago

  • Lindsay became a registered member 2 months, 4 weeks ago

  • I planted Amalia Olson in the fall of 2016, was astonished with its perfect form and bright white color next summer. (I live in Alaska.) In summer 2018 I left also one bud to save some energy for development and the flower was not as perfect as the year before.  This summer I was surprised with the flowers – they were not pure white. I am sure…[Read more]

  • Anya's profile was updated 3 months ago

  • anya-goropashnaya became a registered member 3 months ago

  • Dear Hanna,

    Sorry that your question sat here for a while unanswered.  I was not paying as much attention as I should have !

    I understand what you mean.  Should we see differences when we do a “reverse cross” ?

    My sense is that theoretically there should be some differences.  I’m not very knowledgeable about genetics, but since no one with mo…[Read more]

  • My “philosophy” or “way of thinking” about peony breeding is guided by a number of principles and factors.
    I think I have seen fairly strong evidence that peonies generally do better with outcrossing, i.e. th

    • Bob replied 3 months ago

      Dear Paul,

      It certainly was a pleasure to read your article. Hybridizers often work in semi-isolation it seems, so it was interesting to see how many conclusions that you and I share. As you said, wonderful looking seedlings don’t always look as wonderful as they first did, when we originally saw them. “Advanced selections” from seedling beds, when grown from divisions can sometimes cause a person to wonder if the right plants were dug, or what it was that we saw in them in the first place. This is not always the case (thank goodness) but it seems to be often enough.

      Like yourself, I have the looming feeling that time is short, and will try and bring promising seedlings into my breeding program as fast as I can. While it might be more prudent to wait until such seedlings have proven themselves, I think we’ve both seen the often-surprising variety that can come from even the most well-considered crosses. I consistently get a few pure white flowers when using the pollen of Old Faithful, which goes to illustrate something or other.

      I’m afraid I fall victim to the “magic cross” idea sometimes, in that if I’ve produced a seedling that seems intriguing, I tend to make a whole lot of identical crosses using it’s pollen. There have been several instances where I’ve grown out over100 seedlings of a single cross, simply out of curiosity for the variety of results I might get. Often these crosses will involve pollens from the sorts of rare triploid x tetraploid seedlings you mention, as like yourself, I’m always trying to produce those as well. One other benefit from making a large number of identical crosses is that I can somewhat-reliably tell myself that I have indeed gotten a pretty fair idea of what that cross can do, what sorts of interesting trends may show up in it’s seedlings, and whether it’s really a cross that’s worth doing again or not. Which sometimes it is.

      Each spring it’s always my planned intention to make certain crosses, and sometimes matters do come together where I’m able to do that, by using the mature plants I have at my home. But since my seedling beds are 150 miles away, like yourself, I also do a lot of “on the fly” hybridizing as well. While I’d rather be more well-planned-out with such crosses, I’m often forced to use whatever presents itself when I have limited time in the fields. And plan on “variation” to save the day.

      As to hybridizing priorities, I seem to be putting strong stems at the head of the list more and more these days. When it comes time to do selection in the seedling beds ( the nursery digs on a strict rotation, so it’s do-or-die when selection time rolls around ) there can be a lot of plants, we often don’t have much time to consider them, and we end up going down the rows quite rapidly. In almost every instance I find that stem strength is the first thing I find myself instinctively paying attention to, as unless there is something truly exceptional about a flower, I know in the back of my mind that although there are a lot of variables to consider, seedlings with poor stems are likely to find their way to the compost pile sooner or later. The nursery is a big operation, and often it’s a long way out to the seedling beds, and one passes through many rows of classic varieties along the way. As one walks, it becomes hard to ignore the fact that hybrids which have stood the test of time generally all have good stems.

      Saving plants to use in breeding is often another story though. Again, I’ll favor plants with impressive plant habit, parentage which seems promising, and if I’m using it as a pod parent, carpals that will indeed make seeds. In instances like this, often the nature of the flowers themselves sometimes seem to be my last concern. That said, it’s difficult to resist using pollen off of flowers which are “intriguing”. Even plants with bad stems can produce seedlings with stems which are good, but they’d better have a flower of some very specific interest, or I’m unlikely to use them.

      As you may have seen, sometimes there is some predictability to our crosses. I’ve produced some rows of whites myself, using pollen from promising white varieties on mother plants which are not always so white. Lemon Chiffon seems to produce a lot of yellows if it even looks at anything else with the slightest hint of yellow in it, or if it looks at anything of any other color for that matter. In all my efforts, I may have produced one seedling that has yellow which is a bit deeper than that of Lemon Chiffon, so it’s encouraging that you are finding some success with that.

      Nice reds seem to be a thing that I’m still fumbling around with. Crosses which by all rights should produce good reds produce muddy or purplish reds instead. I suspect there are ways around this, but I still have some ways to go with my own efforts.

      In any case, it was wonderful to read about your experiences, and to read about them here on this site. In the past hybridizers seemed able to keep in touch, so it’s sort of surprising that in this high-tech era, we still seem to be looking for a good location for that.

      Bob Johnson, Oregon, USA

  • Tiana became a registered member 3 months, 1 week ago

  • The more I read about peony hybridizing the more stupid I feel. So many new questions every day…

    One thing I´ve been thinking about is about the quality of seedlings after a cross by the same parents, but with the difference that in group one you cross seeds from A x pollen from B, but in group two you do the opposite. Seeds from B x pollen…[Read more]

  • Load More


Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?


Create Account