Year Registered: 1906
Official registration can be found at: The American Peony Society
Double type; very large; late. Dark rose-pink, edged a trifle lighter, with inconspicuous red edges on a few central petals, and an occasional golden yellow anther in the collar; agreeably fragrant, but not especially so. Medium height; floriferous; strong stems. Good foliage. Very popular, and considered one of the best exhibition flowers. It is somewhat undependable in blooming and of no special value for garden decoration. “A very reliable and abundant bloomer with me.”—Saunders. “Not reliable with me but a very beautiful flower.”—Boyd.
From the Dutch peony testing series in 1998(1) , own translation:
‘Sarah Bernhardt’ (Lemoine, France, 1906). Flowers pink, double, petal edges pale pink to silvery white (total colour impression hardly influenced by this), small red flecks on some petals in the center (hardly conspicuous); leaves mid large, lustreless with a brownred glow, upperside of stems slightly brownred, height 95 cm, flowers and stems sturdy; number of stems excellent. This cultivar from France is widespread worldwide and well-know thanks to its good qualities. Thanks to the sturdiness of the stems it is an appropriate cultivar both for the garden and cutflowers. This follows from the next figures: in 1995 at the auction in Aalsmeer some 3 million stems of it were sold, same thing in 1996. Despite the fact that this cultivar is somewhat susceptible towards botrytis, the positive characteristics like sturdiness, flower colour, leaf quality and number of stems predominate. It should also be noted that around 1900 other cultivars with the same name were offered in the trade, more precisely from Calot and Dessert, these never made any marks.
Remark from koen hurtekant: the “sturdiness” of the stems is heavily overstated, the fact that it is the largest cultivar both in plants and number of cutflower stems may make the review somewhat biased IMHO.
- Kortmann, J. “Paeonia: pioen.” In: Dendroflora, 1998, vol 35, pp 58-95.