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khurtekantOffline

  • Belgium
  • Hurtekant
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    khurtekant

    1 week, 5 days ago

    Grand Massive (Fawkner, 2003). A few years ago I was asked by someone, whom I consider to be one of the best and most knowledgeable peony growers in the world, what I considered the best of Fawkner’s introductions. I was growing several then, including some unregistered ones and without any doubt I answered: Grand Massive. Several years later, I am still of the same opinion. The reasons for that are manyfold.

    1. It increases very fast
    2. It flowers very early (before Red Charm)
    3. It is very floriferous
    4. It has pure white well closed buds
    5. It opens well and has a good vase life
    6. It has very large semi-double to nearly double flowers
    7. The stems are sturdy enough to hold the flowers upright
    8. Dark green foliage (unlike what the official registration says)

    As it blooms so early, it competes with lactiflora whites that are being grown in unheated plastic tunnels which are thus forced into bloom a small month earlier. Those lactiflora whites are usually far more double and that is what is preferred by most customers resulting in higher prices for those lactifloras. But many of the latter have floppier stems (in plastic tunnels they are less sturdy than outside) and have difficulty opening well. In this respect Grand Massive already outshines them. The less double flowers with those somewhat serrated petals are indeed arguably less impressive, so there it looses out. However the main advantage is its earliness because growing peonies outside is far easier than in a plastic tunnel where botrytis is far more eager to strike. Not to mention the costs of the plastic tunnel itself and the extra work. Production cost per stem will be far, far lower than those in the tunnels. Perhaps it would also do well in a plastic tunnel itself, I haven’t even tried that.

    The last decade Coral Sunset has climbed the ranks of the most sold peony varieties at the Royal FloraHolland auctions, which are the world’s largest. It is my humble opinion that this variety is destined to become a top 10 variety as well in the future. If I had to name only one peony that has the most chance of achieving that status: Grand Massive would be it. And it is also the top variety I would suggest to any commercial cut flower grower in the world to invest in.

    The images shown are all from second year plants. In the following years they still increase in number of stems and petals.

    +3

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