Home33 forum General discussion forum Seeking Feedback on Some Peonies Reply To: Seeking Feedback on Some Peonies


The peony images in the word document are not particularly appealing to my eyes. If they would be growing in my seedling field, I’m pretty sure they would be discarded. I’m not opposed against single flowered peonies, although the market for them is far smaller, but I do prefer well formed petals. The red one is more or less interesting for further hybridizing I think. A few years ago Peter Waltz registered some peonies and wrote an article about them in the APS bulletin. There was one peony that comes to mind, Red Compass Rose, that resembles its more or less, although I think I remember it having pointed petal ends. I’ve never seen it offered anywhere.

As Bob says, they may have interesting genetics in them, but if it is unknown what the parents are, then I’m not sure if it’s worthwhile keeping them. That changes if you do know it, Major Steve x Sunny Boy would be interesting for many hybridizers, even if it were a poor plant.

I’m pretty sure DNA testing will be practical in the near future. If it reasonably priced and the (partial) DNA sequence that sets it apart from all other cultivars is uploaded to a central database (the APS?) at registration time (or thereafter), then it will be possible to compare a plant to see it being true-to-name , even from bare root plants. Of course if you only have a DNA sequence from your plant and nothing to compare it with, it’s not very useful, thus I’m already appealing to the APS to make this a possibility in the future ūüėČ I’m not familiar with DNA sequencing, but a google search shows me that you can buy a home DNA genetic testing kit at several places for about 70-100 US$. Perhaps it’s more expensive for plants (the genome is sometimes longer). But if you’re a professional grower of peonies and you want to invest into a large number of a particular variety, it might be interesting if you could check it this way so there would not be any discussion as to what has been delivered to you. Also for discussions whether a new (protected) cultivar is different from another one (The Fawn vs Pietertje Vriend Wagenaar), it might be interesting. Not to mention that if you know where in the DNA sequence lies some resistance to some disease, you could use it to hybridize for this resistance.

Major Steve from Steve Varner is quite a breaktrough of course and there are a (very) few people that grow it (not me). Do you know anything of its history or how it is getting distributed? Since you have access to his gardens, I would suppose that you may know more about it than others?

All the best,

koen hurtekant

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