Canadian Peonies

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Irene May Gilbert

This photo was taken at the William Brown Memorial Garden in Elora, Ontario, June 13, 2000. Walter Gilbert describes it as a hybrid but never formally registered it with the APS. Parentage unknown. It is named in honour of his wife. Wally befriended Billy Brown who persuaded him to take over Brown's Peony Gardens which Wally then operated as Gilbert's Peony Gardens until the late 1980's

 

Irene May Gilbert  

Rose Heart

This one time controversial variety was hybridized by William Bockstoce and introduced into commerce by Henry Landis in 1974. The controversy centred on the claim that it had been previously registered by Bockstoce in 1955 as 'Bess Bockstoce' and it was so known in the USA. However, in 2006 it was determined that 'Rose Heart' is the proper name and that the confusion had resulted due to a labelling error originating with the third party vendor from whom Allan Rogers obtained his initial stock in 1976 or 1977. The correction was officially published in the American Peony Society Bulletin in 2006. Photo by Valda McKenzie, June 11, 2000.

 

Roseheart 

W. T. Macoun

Photograph taken by Alexis Landon in 1999 in the garden of Dr. Jim Cruise. Introduced by Miss Mary E. Blacklock in 1938, the specimen shown here was acquired by Dr. Cruise from Bob Landon who had obtained this cultivar from Blacklock in 1938 as part of a plant order intended for landscaping his newly built home. Miss Blacklock was part of a "botanizing" group that often met in Simcoe and included Monroe Landon, Dr. Douglas Storms (Dundas), Prof. J. W. Crow, and W. E. Saunders among others less notable.

 

W. T. Macoun 

Rosaurea

Introduced by William Brown of Elora, Ontario in 1952. The following description was written by A.R. Buckley of the Central Experimental Farm in 1963. “A good Japanese type with light toned pink petals with straw coloured staminodes and red stigmas forming the crown in the centre. A very floriferous variety and one which has a very appealing colour effect. Flower 5½” diameter, Plant Height 33 inches.”

 

Rosaurea 

Louise Lossing

This peony was developed by amateur breeder Mrs. Evelyn Lossing of Norwich Ontario, and is named for her daughter, Louise. The flowers are noted for their great size and excellent fragrance. 'Louise Lossing' was first shown at an American Peony Society Exhibition at Lansing, Michigan in 1938 and received very favourable comment from George W. Peyton. In the fall of that year Mrs. Lossing sent him at least one division, the first to leave her garden. It was awarded a First Class Certificate at the first regional show of District 11, American Peony Society, held in Guelph Ontario in 1939. 'Louise Lossing' gained some reputation as a show flower in those years when it bloomed early enough to be shown.

 

Louise Lossing 

Faith Fenton

This early midseason, fragrant peony was bred by Dr. Frederick Brethour, a Toronto dentist. His peonies were disseminated by his daughter, Miss Aileen Brethour. It was named for Faith Fenton, a pseudonym used by teacher and prominent investigative journalist, Alice Freeman (1857-1936) who kept her identity secret for many years. 'Faith Fenton' was shown by J.A. Bongers at the first regional show of District No. 7 at Shenandoah, Iowa, in June of 1938. Bongers was a good friend of Brethour and had probably all of Brethour's named peonies at the time. This peony probably gained its widest distribution when it was listed by Gilbert Wild (in Missouri) in 1952. This firm had a significant number of Brethour originations in their catalogue over the years, apparently by way of Bonger's collection at his death in 1944. Propagation has recently resumed in Canada.

 

Faith Fenton 

Linda Kathleen Jack

Introduced in 1970 by Ferncliff Gardens, the name of this peony has subsequently often been shortened to Linda K. Jack. This peony is named in memory of Linda Jack who grew up at Ferncliff but was fatally injured in a car accident. Linda was sister to David, the present owner of Ferncliff Gardens

Linda kathleen Jack 

Athelstane

William Brown, operator of Brown's Peony Gardens of Elora, Ontario, introduced this cultivar in 1938. The flowers are very fragrant and have lavender tones. The flowers are held well above the foliage and side buds are noted for developing larger than average flowers.

 

Athelstane 

Dr. C. F. Patterson


This peony is thought to be a seedling developed by Dr. Patterson, former Head, Dept. of Horticulture, University of Saskatchewan, 1922-1960. It was obtained and distributed, mostly wholesale, by Ferncliff Gardens.  It may be the same seedling as Patterson's #1044, which received a Certificate of Merit at the American Peony Society regional show, Saskatoon, 1939.  Dr. Patterson did not name any of his peony seedlings, but was well known for his lily and hardy fruit introductions. This peony blooms late in the season.

 

Dr. C. F. Patterson 

Milton Jack

To honour the late Milton Jack, and recognize the Garden’s diamond anniversary, Ferncliff Gardens introduced this peony in 1980. In 1920 Milton Jack established Ferncliff Gardens in the Fraser Valley near Hatzig, British Columbia, and it has remained a family business ever since.

Milton Jack 

Adrienne Clarkson

This peony was bred by Maurice Ménard of Laval, Quebec, and was registered in 2004 in honour of our 26th Governor General. This is a hybrid peony, tetraploid, pale yellow, fading cream and with raspberry-pink flares. It blooms somewhat earlier than the well known hybrid, Red Charm. This peony is currently being propagated for the Canadian Peony Society and distribution is still very limited.

 

Adrienne Clarkson 

Prosperity Maud

Bred by Maurice Ménard of Laval, Quebec, and registered by Lindsay D'Aoust of Hudson Heights, Quebec in 2003, this peony is an F2 hybrid with an early blooming period. The exact parentage is unknown, but it includes M. Jules Elie. Each stem has one to three lightly fragrant apricot flowers, with a light fragrance. The stems are sturdy and do not require support. This peony is fertile and may be useful for further breeding work.

 

Prosperity Maud 
Coral n'Gold

This peony was bred by Lyman Cousins of London, Ontario and registered after his death by Roy Klehm in 1981. This hybrid peony is of unknown parentage. The coral flowers appear rather late in the season, on strong stems. The stamens are quite prominent.

 

Coral n'Gold 

Josette

Dr. Frederick Brethour, Toronto dentist, registered this cultivar in 1937. This single flower opens pink and gradually fades to light pink or white. If not disbudded, the stems can have a combination of both pink and white flowers. At one time this peony was considered a strong rival for the better known single, Sea Shell. It blooms late in the season and requires no staking.

 

Josette 

Jean Ericksen

This peony was selected and registered by Marvin Joslin, formerly of Parkland Perennials (now Estate Perennials) in 1999, to honor its originator.  This midseason Japanese cultivar has strong 38" stems and is floriferous and vigorous, developing silver-tipped staminodes with age.  Mrs. Jean Ericksen farmed with her husband at Wauchope, SK, and became internationally famous for her lily breeding.  She tried breeding many other flowers, including peonies. This seedling was given away to Parkland Perennials when it was still tiny, in the hope that it would prove valuable because of its prolific blooming parent, also an un-named seedling which she obtained from a penpal in Ontario.

Jean Ericksen