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Looks pretty encouraging Koen !

This spring I had a row of about 100 seedlings that bloomed, which were part of a push I made to get good early white hybrids. We selected 16 of them to dig and divide, and then grow for another rotation. Of the 40 seedlings of Lemon Chiffon x Greenland, I think we kept one. Of 26 seedlings of Blushing Princess x Greenland we kept 5. Of 27 plants of Blushing Princess x (white double from a Bill Seidl seed) we kept 10.

I wish I could tell you what these things looked like, but we were forced to evaluate them so quickly one late afternoon that I can’t remember. When you are trying to evaluate that many seedlings, getting rid of the duds, and keeping only the better ones will make it much easier to judge them. It’s been my experience that seedlings which have been dug, and then grown from the resulting divisions, may look different than when they were seedlings, even if the seedlings had many stems, and gave every impression of being mature plants.

It does seem that Lemon Chiffon may not be the best way to go when looking for early whites, and that Blushing Princess presents better opportunities. Bill got some whites that seem like they offer the best pathway, although getting ahold of them is still not easy at this point it seems. The double white I grew from one of his seeds…I don’t think it’s parentage is what Bill claimed it to be, and may be something from his work with whites that got mixed in with some other seeds that he sent me, 10 or 11 years ago now.

Everything in it’s proper season though. Good whites are useful and needed in every part of the peony season, especially by the cut flower industry.

Bob Johnson

2023, The Peony Society - https://www.peonysociety.eu

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