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Grandma's Peonies, What Could They Be?

Winston-Salem, NC(Zone 7b)

This is an herbaceous peony I transplanted from my grandmother's garden a few years ago. It is always the first to bloom in the spring here in Winston-Salem, NC and is very fragrant. Do you fantastic peony folks have any idea of what variant it might be? Thanks for any information.

Thumbnail by bungalow1056
Greenwood, IN(Zone 5b)

It is beautiful whatever it is!

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Thats gorgeous - trouble is most of those old ones are forever nameless.
If you cant ID it just name it after your G'ma. I have one called Aunt Pat!

Winston-Salem, NC(Zone 7b)

I think that's a great idea. She got these from her mother who probably got them from her mother, etc. They're descended from plants that are at least 120 years old, originally. She had them planted in a mass under a giant viburnum that my grandfather had trained into a standard. I think I'll call them Irene's Pinks! I'll try to post some more pics as they come along.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

If you go thru some extensive peony listings ( like the Peony Garden in Canada) you will find many peony s with peoples names so go for it!

Here is my Aunt Pat!

Thumbnail by fancyvan
Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

It really is quite beautiful.

Lisbon, IA(Zone 5a)

It is a lovely peony. :)

Winston-Salem, NC(Zone 7b)

Aw, Aunt Pat is beautiful.

Winston-Salem, NC(Zone 7b)

Aw, Aunt Pat is beautiful. I think I'll check out the APS and CPS registries. That'll be fun.

Louisville, KY

That is one beautiful peony.

Greenwood, IN(Zone 5b)

Those are very wondermous, Fancy!

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

I was looking thru some pics ( really looking for Bungalows peony but also looking at dark pink ones and wondering if my Aunt Pat might be Felix Crousse. Any thoughts? Anybody grow it? Apparently a very old peony!

Salem, IL(Zone 5b)

Felix Crousse (1881), raspberry red, 32", still available from Adelmans peony paradise. I have a supposedly Felix Crousse and a Dr. Alexander Fleming purchased from Wal-Mart about 5 years ago but I didn't mark them when planted. One of them is about to bloom now. I will post a pic then.

Kansas City, MO

Not Felix Crousse because Felix C has a row of guard petals on the outside of the double flower.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

OK

Close up of Aunt Pat

Thumbnail by fancyvan
Kansas City, MO

Definately the closeup looks like Felix Crousse. Now you need to locate a Felix Crousse plant and compare the leaves, how the underside of the flower looks. Does the angle that the leaves attach to the stem equal. Height. Veining in flowers and leaves. Number of points on leaves and how the leaves are divided/not divided. Number of leaves on each leaf stem. Can get fairly complicated but probably not as much as daylily's and iris where sometimes it comes down to a very small microscopic difference.

After a while you will be able to look and tell the parentage of different peonies just by the plant.

Winston-Salem, NC(Zone 7b)

I've been checking out different databases and society galleries but so far, no exact match that I can discern. Have any of y'all ever tried to register a cultivar with one of the societies? @fancy- how's Felix the Cat Aunt Pat coming along this year? (wink) @Steve- your peonies take my breath away. @AH- any thoughts regarding the foliage on "Irene"? The color is a deep green, tending to blue. The veining is coarse and deeply defined. The leaves are large, some measuring over 8" long. Have a great weekend everyone.

Thumbnail by bungalow1056
Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Oh my doG ah3515 ( Is there a nicer name we can use to address you?) not sure I am up to that! We do have some local peony experts - will see if they have FC to compare for me.

And thanks for the suggestions!

Kansas City, MO

You can call me Alana if you wish.

Irene probably has some macro in it's parentage. Most macro tends to form crinkled leaves but yours does not show the crinkling. Let me check my rapidly deteriorating file system, brain, to see if I can come up with the blue green foliage. This is the type of plant that I love completely different foliage to provide additional plant interest.

Kansas City, MO

I find Halda's book interesting to weed out possibilities. The drawings are good for the various plant structures especially the fine points on whether the leaves are rounded, pointed, lobed etc. Like all books of it's type the nomenclature changed even before it was published.

The pictures and drawing are worth the price of the book even if you disagree with the text.

Winston-Salem, NC(Zone 7b)

Oops!! I just got the potential interpretation of "AH". I swear it never crossed my mind! :-) I definitely will use "Alana" henceforth. Thanks for the info. I'll see if I can find a copy of the reference.

Kansas City, MO

Huh? It is just an old password that I used before I retired. I will have to think about your comment.

Winston-Salem, NC(Zone 7b)

Hey Alana. I hope neither I nor fancy offended you. I think it was just the way I wrote AH earlier in the thread when I was addressing your post. I know those are just likely your initials but when fancy pointed it out, I realized that one could read them as initials for a common English expletive, out of context. You use whatever password or initials you want! :)

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Never thought of that Bungalow - just like to know peoples names if they are willing to share instead of using the nickname !

Alana what is the reference to 'Irene' and what is the name of Halda's book? I do not have a book about Peonies and rarely bother to get into the details as you m ention about FC for instance - maybe time I did!

Kansas City, MO

Irene is in reference to Bungalow's foliage picture.

Halda is Josef Halda who has collected seeds and plants from all over the world. He is better know for rock garden plants. His wife is an illustrator and draws and paints wonderful pictures. The book I was referring to is "The Genus Paeonia by Josef J. Halda and James W. Waddick". I have never met Halda but visit Jim's greenhouse just to see his plants.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Thanks! I missed the Irene reference.

Winston-Salem, NC(Zone 7b)

Well y'all... As is often the case, I have my proverbial foot in my mouth. Please forgive... "Irene" is coming along nicely. My grandmother's name was Irene so I decided to name the flower after her for now. Here is another photo of a bloom. This one is a little larger and has somewhat different coloration. The later blooms break in a cupped form initially then open to a full, double "bomb" with distinct, ruffled guards that are pale pink, aging to white. The only named variety it resembles that I've found so far is Festiva Maxima.

Thumbnail by bungalow1056
Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

I dont think that is FM.

The spots on FM are much darker red in my limited experience.

Here is mine.

Thumbnail by fancyvan
Winston-Salem, NC(Zone 7b)

I agree with you fancy. The coloration is different in some aspects and the consistent ruffled/frilled nature of the guard row sets it apart in my mind. The foliage appears darker than the FM blooms I've seen too. Maybe it's a FM relative? Fun to speculate. Yours is gorgeous, by the way.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

And I dont think FM has any yellow.

Bungalow my FM was a rescue from a house that was sold, very old plants put in by owners parents ( and the then owner was older than me and we are both seniors ), just knew they were white, didnt flower for several years ( could not get a really good root with more than 1-2 eyes) and then it finally bloomed and I realised I had FM!

Yes it is that ruffled guard row that catches my eye too.

Maybe you could send the pic to one of the big peony names - like Hollingsworth for instance and ask if they can ID it?

Kansas City, MO

I agree about sending a picture to Don. Have you looked at Madame deVernville? The petals on Irene look a little sparse.

Salem, IL(Zone 5b)

This is last year's pic of what was purchased as a 'Karl Rosenfeldt' about three years ago. Gives an indication of the problems identifying peonies or other plants purchased from non-growers. I purchased two of these, one for myself and one for my grandaughter, $18 each in a possibly 2 gallon pot. Lovely nonetheless but no one could mistake it for a red Karl.

Thumbnail by Oldgardenrose
Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

But it is lovely OGR.

With several thousand peony hybrids out there ID must be pretty difficult if you get a NOID or a MISID.

Salem, IL(Zone 5b)

This is a better pic of the one I called a possible Fleming. Used a piece of old panel to block direct sunlight. The colors are true as to the eye. Old fashioned peony fragrance close to the nose.

Thumbnail by Oldgardenrose
Winston-Salem, NC(Zone 7b)

OGR, those are some lovely blooms. Alana, I thought about Madame de Verneville too but the blooms on mine have never had that central set of large petals that I've seen on MDV. fancy- the Hollingsworth contact is a good idea. I'll try that out.

Winston-Salem, NC(Zone 7b)

Found It! I went to the Hollingsworth website and they had a photo up that looks exactly like the blooms I have. They call it "Old Farmstead" because it is often found near old homesites and has been passed around for years- just like mine. Cool...

http://www.hollingsworthpeonies.com/inc/sdetail/204

Thumbnail by bungalow1056
Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Neat!

Thats is so common up here on the prairies to see many peonies around abandoned farms- probably there for near 100 years.
So basically nobody knows who bred this one?

Did a little googling!


http://www.solarisfarms.com/herbaceous%20peony%20catalog.htm

These folks seem to have a different idea about Old Farmstead!

http://leslieland.com/2006/06/peony-season/

…….The white, a bomb with shell pink outer petals and red streaks at its heart is probably Queen Victoria, called the “Old Farmstead ” peony by Hollingsworth Nursery , which describes this flower’s extensive travels from the East into the Midwest in the early 20th century.

http://www.anniheino.com/photos.htm
Scroll down to see Queen Victoria




This message was edited May 3, 2010 3:23 PM

Winston-Salem, NC(Zone 7b)

Thanks for the links! As far as I can tell no breeder has been identified. I couldn't find any information on who may have cultivated "Queen Victoria" when it was introduced in the US. I tend to agree pretty wholeheartedly with the Hollingsworth assessment. The blooms I have look just like their photo. If it's not QV I think it is probably very, very closely related. I think it is probably closely related to FM too. The time line of QV introduction and spread coincides with the history of my family's settlement here in the western piedmont of NC. The verbal description that Hollingsworth offers matches what I've seen "to a tee". The early shoots are deep bronze, The blooms open in a semi-cupped, anemone fashion, the pink guards are always there, the center always has the creamy yellow tint, surrounding the pink stigmae, then opens to a double bomb form, aging to white. Mine are in full sun and blanch almost completely white by the end of the bloom season.

My great-great grandmother and her children lived on a several-hundred acre farm here in central, western North Carolina during the mid-19th century (at the onset of Queen Victoria's reign...) The area is still fairly rural today and was most certainly about as rural as possible 130 years ago. She was the matriarch of a long line of farmers and gardeners in my family, descended from German and Swiss stock who landed in eastern NC during the late 18th century. One of her daughters, my great-grandmother was Sallie and one of her daughters was Alice Irene, my grandmother. I can almost guarantee that Sallie got this peony from her mother when she married and started her homestead; then she passed it along to my grandmother from whom my Mom and I have cultivated it. Who knows who bought the first one? I know my relatives rarely paid money for a plant back in the day- likely traded it with a neighbor. Thanks for letting me reminisce about my ancestry :)

The solarisfarms "Old Homestead" is interesting (beautiful too). I live in a historic neighborhood here in Winston-Salem, NC. Many of the homes are 80 to 100 years old. I'm almost positive that I've seen this variety in garden plantings around here- then fern-like foliage, the pink, single blooms and yellow stamens... Now I have to on a hunt! If I find one I'll try to get a photo (and not get arrested).

Kansas City, MO

Actually Don has several of the old peonies that names have been lost. Each year he will sell one or two of them of his selection. Old Farmstead was the first that he collected. Another is Dewey. Most are white/pink combinations. I have not seen a dark red in the collection so will have to ask if he has a darker colored old one.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

I thnk the Solaris 'Old Farmstead ' must be a mistake -- it looks like a fernleaf hybrid.

Alana I noticed that on the Hollingsworth site that he had a very limited amount of OF so must not have many plants.

I rescued roots from 4 different oldtimers ( planted 60 years ago was my information) last fall, will be interesting to see what comes up!

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