Peonies, of the genus Paeonia, are among the most dramatic and beautiful flowers for gardens. Although species of Paeonia are found in the wild throughout the Northern Hemisphere, they are mainly associated with Asia and Asian gardens. Josef Halda is one of the few botanists who has traveled to see every known peony species and subspecies in the wild, often in extremely remote areas. He documents twenty-five species in these pages, including forty subspecies and varieties. He also provides an account of the closely related genus Glaucidium, whose two species will be of intense interest to peony fanciers.
Although this work carries the mantle of authority from Halda's work in taxonomy, it is also a helpful resource for everyday gardeners who wish to try even the rarest peonies in their gardens. James Waddick has teamed up with Josef Halda to provide valuable information on growing peony species, with a full account of cultivation requirements, hardiness, propagation, and diseases and pests.
The text is graced with the stunning botanical paintings of Jarmila Haldová, Josef Halda's wife and one of Europe's leading book illustrators. Haldová has also contributed dozens of useful line drawings of peony characters to aid in identification. Period woodcuts and other historical illustrations round out the work.
Sponsored by the Heartland Peony Society, which helped fund its publication, The Genus Paeonia is a rare work of beauty, science, and practical value.