Mlokosewitschi and Further Attempts at Crossing

The many attempts to cross "Mloko" onto albiflora over a long period of years have already been noted. Albiflora seemed, to the eyes of the hybridist, the most desirably eligible of all the partners presented for "mloko's" favors. But it was therefore to prove the most heartbreaking of disappointments. [56:] The list of "mloko's" rejectees is long. Not one of the following attempted combinations with "mloko" came to anything: anomala, arietina, arietina "cretica," bakeri, beresowskyi, browni, cambessedesi, coriacea, Corsica, "decora," "decora pallasi," microcarpa, obovata "alba," obovata "japonica rosea," pubens, russi "major" [actually a Lemoine hybrid between russi and wittmanniana, but usually found listed among species], wittmanniana, and woodwardi. In addition these forms of officinalis were tried: Etoile de Pluton, Mutabilis, Sabini, "Single Crimson" [that fathered the "Challengers"], Striata Elegans, Alba Plena, Rosea Plena, Rosea Superba Plena, Rubra Plena, Otto Froebel, and something known in the notebooks as "false lobata."

Six additional species did give hybrid plants which, though never propagated or introduced, do still survive: broteri, corallina, emodi, peregrina, triternata [another Caucasian species], and veitchi. With two species and two only, did "mloko" succeed in founding families.

Like "mloko," these two are native to the Caucasus region, and like "mloko," both are very early blooming. Macrophylla's acquaintance we have already made. The other plant, tenuifolia, is one of the few peony species known to European and American gardens as early as 1765. This is the very small, very early, very ferny-leaved little peony found in many gardens. It occurs in several forms: Rubra [single], Rubra Plena, Rosea, and Rosea Plena.