Year Registered: 1953
Breeder/registrant: Saunders, A. P.
Parentage: Lactiflora cvr. x lobata
Official registration can be found at: The American Peony Society
(Saunders, 1953) – Double – Pale Pink – Hybrid. Albiflora x lobata. List in Bulletin 129.
Award of Landscape Merit (ALM) description: ‘Cytherea’ (Saunders, 1953) Herbaceous Hybrid, Early, 24? — Intense, warm rose-colored, semi-double flowers carried on strong, upright stems begin bloom as closed, symmetrical balls that gradually open to a bowl shape, six inches across. Blooms keep well on the plant, remaining viable for up to a week as they slowly turn from warm rose to peachy pink to cream to ghost white. Blooms can open intermittently, so blooms at various stages of development and color may be present on a single bush. Young blooms are reflexive, protecting themselves from inclement weather by closing up and reopening when the weather breaks and the sky lightens. Foliage is subject to summer senescence due to heat and water stress. Plants may take some extra time to get established, with ten-year-old plants maturing to not more than 18 stems. Reputed to grow well as far south as Birmingham, Alabama, with Regina, Saskatchewan appearing to approach its northern limit. Roots are adventitious and small, even for a hybrid, so divisions may appear fragile though plentiful; a three year old plant can yield four standard three–five eyed divisions with six to eight smaller, substandard “plantbacks” (Editor’s Note: “Plantbacks” are substandard divisions either with less root or fewer eyes, not saleable but too good to discard and good enough to use as propagation stock). Poorly stored roots may be more susceptible to fungus and rot than most. 1980 Gold Medalist