Year Registered: 1940
Breeder/registrant: Saunders, A. P.
Parentage: Lactiflora cvr. x lobata
Official registration can be found at: The American Peony Society
Herbaceous hybrid. Semi-Double. Lacti x lobata. Bright cherry rosette.
Award of Landscape Merit (ALM) description: ‘Ellen Cowley’ (Saunders 1940) Herbaceous Hybrid, Early mid-season, 26? x 36? — Medium-sized, semi-double flowers of warm, light red are strongly cupped with good sheen and substance. Blooms open all at once and hold well for nearly a week, remaining shapely as petal tops gradually lighten to ghost white. Blooms are tolerant of extreme heat and open and close reflexively, offering protection from wind and rain. Stems emerge from a tight circle at the base of the plant and spread out at the top; with foliage near to the ground and a breadth greater than its height, ‘Ellen Cowley’s’ silhouette is slightly elliptical. Medium size leaflets are dissected. Summer foliage benefits when plants are sited in a shadier aspect and given adequate, even watering (in Arkansas, foliage of untended plants will normally start to deteriorate by August 1). Buds may be damaged by late periods of freezing temperatures and though not reliably hardy as far north as Regina, Saskatchewan, it does well in Russia where it was Grand Champion at the Moscow Peony Show three years running from 1975-77. Ellen Cowley establishes readily and increases quickly—often with two-year old plants bearing many stems and plants at maturity with stem counts over three dozen. Propagate by division and adventitious roots.