The Crosses of A. P. Saunders


„Quite different from any of the groups of hybrids discussed above are those which have been derived by crossing Chinese peonies on the doubtful species which I have mentioned above as being perhaps P. corallina or possibly arietina. This is an easy cross to make and one which gives in the first generation progeny which shows an extreme variability. The foliage is usually like neither parent, and no two seedlings resemble each other. One would think that plants showing such strong variation would be likely to produce now and then varieties of distinct desirability; but unfortunately when these hybrids come into bloom all one's hopes are blasted. The flowers are large but in almost every case of a very ugly purple magenta color. Some are agreeable in odor but none so far seem to me tolerable in color, and I have no thought that any of them will be worth propagating. They are curiosities and nothing more. I may mention that they have always been sterile; which, considering their character is perhaps not a misfortune..“ (SOME NEW HYBRID PEONIES , By A. P. Saunders, Clinton, New York in: American Peony Society Bulletin No. 27 — June 1926:)


ARIETINA belongs to the South European group of peony species, and among these the lines of demarcation are very difficult to draw. The species being therefore difficult to identify I have not used them much in my crossings. I offer no guarantee that my ARIETINA is true. Whatever it is, it crosses with the Chinese peonies without too much difficulty and gives hybrids which have flowers in various shades of mauvish pink, most of them with an agreeable and distinctive odor not at all like that of the fragrant Chinese peonies.

I doubt that this line of crossing is worth continuing. I have never had anything from it that seemed good enough to propagate or of any special interest; though it is only fair to say that the number of hybrids I have raised is quite small. (SOME HYBRID PEONIES, Arthur Percy Saunders , American Peony Society Bulletin No. 84, Sept. 1941)