June 19, 2006

Must Have Peonies-Itoh Intersectionals

Itoh Intersectional-'Garden Treasure'
Sure, there are yellow peony available. Many of the tree peony crosses are yellow, as are many of the hard-to-find species coming onto the market. Yellow in the world of Paeonia may seem novel, but it really isn't new. Yet most yellow forms come in the Peony we know as woody tree peony, which are challenging to grow if you live like I do, north of Zone 6. With our cold temperatures which often reach zero F. these plants fail and never really give the show that an herbaceos peony does, (the sort that die back to the ground every year, but which produce a mass of blooms in June). I think I have found the cure...

So...what would happen, if one crossed the species we know as tree peony, with an herbaceous species, which fall dormant back to their crowns each and every year? Well, Toichi Itoh has succeeded, and his crosses, known collectively as the Itoh-hybrids (which more correctly are known as Inter-sectionals) which are most certainly, next to some of the even more collectable species from Tibet and China, have become the must-haves for plant geeks like us. These Itoh crosses are starting to reach very few specialty nurseries whom have an agreement to carry them, and suddenly the world of Paeonia is changing before our very eyes.

Imagine an herbaceous peony, like the ancient Festiva Maxima, but with massive yellow flowers, some plants with as many as fifty open at the same time. This is reportedly what you get with these somewhat costly, yet must-have plants. The good neews is any Peony is truly a long-lived investment, which becomes better and better each year. Imagine your neighbors when they see a massive clump of yellow peonies growing near your driveway. You are not going to find these jewels at Home Depot. If you want onw of these great plants, there are specific times of the year when you can plant or have them delivered. Visit this nursery site - Hollingsworth Peonies for more info and for ordering these fine plants. There are really only about three sources in the United States.

1 comment :

  1. Anonymous10:00 AM

    Hi Matt...

    Nice shot of the peony cross and I learned something new today. Did not hear about these type of peonies before. Just got my first tree peony last year and it was a baby seedling and waiting for it to be large enough to bloom. Very interesting site. More photos would be great. :-)


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