Thank you. About the images in the cultivar database, there are only a few ones present now which I took myself mostly. It’s possible for site visitors to upload images along with the comments about the cultivars. The cultivar database does have room for improvement (there are only just over 1,100 varieties in it, it could use multiple image uploads, more image formats, better search options and so on), but for now I’m lacking the technical prowess to be able to change it much further and I personally don’t consider it a priority as there are two other large peony databases on the web available that in fact offer the possibility to be merged into one super-database (but a marriage takes two…)
Taking images that correspond exactly to the specification of the cultivar registration is very difficult. Mainly for two reasons.
- Many white peony flowers change color during blooming time, usually from some pink shade towards white. That is also the case for many other colors as well (just take at look at the video of Coral Sunset changing color). When it’s sunny and hot this tends to happen faster, or when it’s cold the pink may appear much darker and last longer. So the flower on any single day may look completely different, you would need a picture of the flower nearly every day.
- The light/sun conditions can make the flower color look completely different. It’s very difficult to make a good image of a peony, most of all a white one, when there’s a lot of sun. You would need a clear but still slightly cloudy day without any direct sunlight to take a good picture.
The American Peony Society has its own database of peonies, 4,000-5,000 of them with currently over a 1,000 varieties with an image added to them. http://americanpeonysociety.org/cultivar-registration/peony-cultivars All registered cultivars are there and a few older ones that were added without registration long ago. What is missing are more recent cultivars that have not been registered (many European ones) and most Chinese/Japanese cultivars. You can easily search the database by date, cultivar name, breeder and so on.
Carsten Burkhardt’s website http://www.paeon.de also has a database of peonies, with far more varieties, including those that were never registered. It also includes many descriptions from books and other websites, sometimes even in other languages. Next to that there are lots of images, not to mention the other very interesting sections of the website (breeders, the works of AP Saunders, a literature overview with many links and so on). It would be the perfect informative peony site but, alas, it hasn’t been updated in almost a decade and I don’t expect this to change anymore. The fact that it hasn’t received any updates is one of the main reasons I’ve created this site http://www.peonysociety.eu . There would be no challenging Carsten’s website when it comes to the amount of information present, but everything becomes outdated when nothing new is added. I’ve tried to contact him a few times to merge his site into this one, but I’ve never been able to reach him. Perhaps I should try again.
Thank you for your comments.
Webmaster of The Peony Society