The Crosses of A. P. Saunders


„I now come to the crosses which have been made or attempted, using the species Mlokosewitschi. This yellow flowered plant seemed to offer interesting possibilities if it could be crossed on Chinese or other peonies. I have attempted during the past few years many such crosses, both on named varieties of Chinese peonies, and on a good many of the species in my garden as well as most of the officinalis varieties I possess. My belief is that up to the present time I have never succeeded in effecting a cross either with pollen from P. Mlokosewitschi, or by using pollen of other varieties upon that species. It is true I have a good many seeds that have been produced by the blooms so worked over, but in every case where seed has been set I have a very definite suspicion that it was merely by self-fertilization. I have a few young plants that have come up from such seed, and in every case they show the characters of the female parent. The only ones that have come to the blooming age are some in which pollen of P. Mlokosewitschi was used on Chinese peonies. I have had perhaps a dozen of such plants, and all of them have been, as far as I could see, absolutely sinensis in character. The inducement in making this cross lies in the possibility of producing an early flowering race of yellow peonies. That is a possibility to stir the heart of any peony hybridist. I still keep hoping that I may find some species or variety which will yield true crosses with Mlokosewitschi. It would be strange if this species should prove incompatible with all other peonies, and it may be that within a few years I shall be able to report success in this direction. This is to my mind the most interesting of the lines that I have touched upon, and it is tantalizing that it seems to be the one which most obstinately refuses to give any results.“ (SOME NEW HYBRID PEONIES , By A. P. Saunders, Clinton, New York in: American Peony Society Bulletin No. 27 — June 1926:)