Wisconsin State Horticultural Society / Annual report of the Wisconsin State Horticultural Society for the year ending July 1, 1921
Vol. LI (1921)
Brand, A. M.
The modern peony, pp. 107-122 PDF (3.9 MB)
WISCONSIN STATE HORTICULTURAL SocirE0 Kelway's Glorious are the world's two greatest white, selling at $25 and $40 each, while the other two are just good peonies and may be had at 50 cents each. So I thought when your Secretary's kind invitation to be pres- ent with you here today reached me I could not do better than confine this article to an attempt to give for the benefit of those who are just venturing into the field a list of choice peonies as I see them. I will have passed the half century mark next month. When I was born my father was in the general nursery business. You might say that I was born in the nursery and with the ex- ception of a very few years I have been there ever since. The first thing that I can remember is my father's field of an acre of peonies. That was 44 years ago and from that day to this my interest in this greatest of all flowers has never waned. I worked with my father among the peonies up to ten years ago, when he retired. From that time on I have worked alone. Dur- ing the course of all these years I think I have. studied about every named peony that has come out and it is upon the opinions formed through these years of study of the flower that I base the list which I wish to submit to you. We will start in France. France has had four great originators --Calot, Crousse, Dessert, and Lemoine. These men have pro- duced in the neighborhood of from twenty to thirty good vari- eties each. But before taking up the work of these men I will cover the field of the work of several different European grow- ers who produced just a few good flowers each. None of us would like to do without Whitleyii, that old sweet cream colored white, with its beautiful shadings. It was introduced by Whitley in 1808 and is still one of our very best commercial whites. L'Indispensible is a magnificent flower of unknown origin. It came to us years ago under the name of Eugene Verdier and I have admired it ever since. I have had as high as ten thousand blooms open at one time and should I live a thousand years I would never forget the sight. It is a beautiful great even-colored hydrangea pink. Some years it waterlogs badly, which is its only defect. Delicatissima is another splendid delicate pink whose origin is unknown. This flower has been sold under many different names, but it is always the same beautiful pink, a pink that has graced more June weddings than any other peony. 109
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