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Cultivar Trials

Currently, we are growing 110 species and cultivars of peonies at the GBG. They include species, intersectional (ITOH) hybrids and herbaceous (Lactiflora) peonies suitable for gardens, landscapes and cut flowers. Tree peonies are not hardy in Fairbanks. Scroll through the list below to see our current evaluations and recommendations for each cultivar. All photos are from the GBG. Flowering dates are summarized in the phenology section. We thank Planteck Biotechnologies and Oregon Perennials for donating plants for our trials. We are working on data entry here, so be patient!

*Starred cultivars are not in the GBG trials, but are grown somewhere in the state. Comments by growers are included in brackets with APGA source.

Photos are from GBG trials unless otherwise noted from other Alaska sources.

Cultivar Bloom Year planted, (source), classfication, color and notes
P. anomala Paeonia anomala 1990, (heirloom from Fairbanks garden), single. Blooms very early. Excellent hardy garden flower for early to mid June bloom season. One of the first garden flowers to bloom in Fairbanks. Outstanding foliage display all summer and ornamental seed pods in autumn.
Adolphe Rousseau   2005, (Wild) {APGA - some losses experienced in Fairbanks. Good performer in other areas}
Alba Plena*   white, {APGA- unappealing bloom, very short stems, not good cut flower}
Ann Cousins Ann 2002, (Wild), double white. Poor growth in 2011; possible herbicide (glyphosate) damage when sprayed very early before buds were visible. Damage still visible in 2013. Some cabbage heads
Avalanche   2011, (Klehm's), double white, late bloomer{APGA- strong performer}
Baroness Schroeder*   (APGA-disappointing in some years in Homer. Labeled white but opened blush in Homer}
Bartzella Bartzella 2009, (Planteck), semi-double, intersectional yellow; Outstanding garden flower, hardy at warmer sites in the Interior. Needs snow cover. Short stems for cutting;
Best Man Best Man 2006, (Klehm's), deep double red, Poor growth in first years; recovered in year 2. Few flowers, stout stems, ribbed. Excellent flower quality. Robust
Better Times   2001, 2009, (Wild), double; dead
Bowl of Beauty   2001, 2009 (Wild), pink Japanese; dead
Bowl of Cream   2001, 2009, (Klehm's), double {APGA-best priced white, susceptible to botrytis, slow to establish, may not be harvestable until 4+ years}
Brand's Magnificent   2009, (Wild)
Bridal Icing  

2006, (Klehm's), bomb, white guard petals and cream bomb petals. Some gummy flower buds. Has side buds. After cutting, some dry before opening {APGA-great cut flower performer}

Bride's Dream*   double, white with some pink in cool weather,{APGA- a favorite at the 2011 APGA conference}
Buckeye Belle*   red, double {APGA- hige blooms, took many years to produce flowers}
Carol   2009, (Wild), double
Catharina Fontijn (Katheryn Fonteyn) Kathryn Fonteyn 2002, (Wild), pale pink double; stubby flowers; short stems; best for gardens, not commercial cutting
Charlie's White   2006, (Caprice), semi double white bomb {APGA- blooms abundantly soon after planting; unique shape}
Cheddar Gold Cheddar Gold 2006, (Klehm's), white guard petals, gold center, semi double
Claudia   2011, (OR Perennials),
Command Performance*   true red {APGA- strong growth in early years, reliable performer, #1 choice of Holland growers in 2012; easy to grow, harvest and ship}
Cora Louise (ITOH)   2008, (Planteck), single to semi-double, intersectional
Coral Charm coral charm 2006, (Klehm's), coral peach semi-double {APGA - excellent, very large blossoms & strong stems. Do not disbud. Very long bloom time in Homer-- into October. Needs staking and protection from wind in some areas}
Coral Supreme Coral Supreme 2006, (Klehm's), salmon coral semi-double; wimpy plants, not many flowers, short stems
Corinne Wersen Corinne Wersen 2011, (OR Perennials); Looks nice in field. Weak stems. Some buds do not fully open - harvest stage will be important
Couronne d' Or Courinne d Or 2005, (Wild), white, red flecks double. Has side buds, crooked stems
David Harum   2001, 2009, (WIld), deep rose bomb
Doris Cooper   2001, 2009, (Wild), white double
Double Red Double red 2011, (Klehm's), double; Lots of gummy cabbage buds in the second year. Some buds do not fully open after cutting. Cutting stage will be important
Double White Double white 2011, (Klehm's), double
Dr. Alexander Fleming Dr. F;emming 2001, 2009, (NW Bulb), pink double. Great productivity, nice long stems, similar to Sarah B. After cutting some buds did not fully open; partial opening then decline {APGA- scented, stores well}
Duchess de Nemours Dutchess 2001, 2009, (NW Bulb), white, blush pink double. Not the clear white as advertised in the 'lower 48'  in Fairbanks; some years flowers are more pink than blush. Excellent cut flower but opens fast. Need to harvest more than twice a day to catch every one. Stems shorter than most. {APGA-dependable, hold up well, fragrant, prolific bloomer, shorter stems than some other cultivars; grass-gree foliage; ships well; not as robust a plant as others in high tunnels}
Duchess de Orleans   2001. 2009, (Wild), pink double [APGA- poor performer in Fairbanks
Early Scout Early Scout 1999 (Wild) Early-blooming cultivar for home gardens. Plants do not get bushy but remain with 2-3 upright stems each year. Dark, dark red blooms top stems stuffed with highly dissected leaves. Great garden flower but not for cutting.
Edulis Superba   2001, 2009, (Wild), rose bomb double {APGA-favorite peony of willow gardener, Les Brake, good, young performer, fragrant, easily damaged by late spring frost; earliest in Homer to bloom}
Elsa Sass*   (APGA- strong shorter stems, open bud style. August, September, 2011 was super rainy. Buds held water and rot at the stem; need rain protection. Never saw true bloom. Disappointing. A difficult cultivar.   Pick softer than others.  Opening problem, marks when squeezed}
Eskimo Pie E. PIe 2009, (Klehm's), double white with pink "stripes" on outer guard petals. Stems are too short for best cut flowers
Fairbanks Fairbanks 2001, (Wild), white guard, yellow centers, single. Has side buds. Huge blooms. Excellent garden flower. Tall, floppy  stems. Not for commercial cutting
Felix Crouse   2001, 2009, (NW Bulb), rose double {APGA-many blossoms even when young, needs support, very popular with brides, ships well and holds well, very long stems.  Showed bruising from wind in 2011,   Good, reliable producer for several years}
Felix Supreme   2001, 2009, (Wild), deep rose bomb (APGA-needs support, good producer}
Fernleaf Peony   Paeonia tenuifolia, 2000, (Klehm's), red; very early bloom time in June; not a cut flower. Finely dissected foliage with small deep red buds. Excellent hardy garden flower
Festiva Maxima Festiva maxima 2001, 2009, 2011, (Wild), white, red flecks, double {APGA-old time reliable,  Good performer, good production and does well in our soils, winters over well, strong stems-Fbks.  Wish I had a field of Festiva!   Incredible blooms, cream-ivory when young, then goes white. They seem to ship just fine. Good in high tunnels }
Festiva Powder Puff Festiva powder puff 2011, (Klehm's), double. Shiny dark green foliage, Elegant blooms; a GBG favorite in 2013
Florence Bond   2009, (Wild), white double; dead
Fragrant Pink Improved Pink Improved 2009, (Klehm's), pink double. Has side buds. Short stems. Buds slow to open; most did not come to full bloom
Francis Ortega   2005, (Wild), burgundy double, small flowers; lots of Botrytis in cut buds
G.F. Hemerick G.F. 2006, (Wild), medium pink Japanese, cream bomb petals
Gardenia*   white, double died at GBG {APGA- very large blooms. Significant losses from winter injury in Fairbanks; good recommendations from Homer}
Gay Paree Gay Paree 2001, 2009, 2012, (OR Perennials), rose Japanese
George W. Payton George W. Payton 2005, (Wild),  pale pink double, has side buds
Glory Halleluja Glory Halleluja 2006, (Klehm's), blend of red, cherry red and pink double. Excellent large blooms; rivals Sarah B in size and show (APGA- performs well, not the most prolific producer but gorgeous}
Going Bananas (ITOH) Bannanas 2009, (Planteck), yellow single, intersectional outstanding foliage; too short as cut flower but great in gardens; hardy in the Interior with snow cover, warm site
Grover Clevaland*   {APGA- newly planted, growing well}
Heidi   2012, (OR Perrenials)
Helen Hayes   2012, (Klehm's) as cut flower, some buds withered on the stem, did not open
Henry Bockstoce   2012, (OR Perennials), double. Injured during 2012-13 winter, emerged very late in year after planting  {APGA-needs support, delicate petals are easily damaged by weather, insects, disease, and fungi.  Can lose up to 50% of blossoms.  Do not disbud.   Huge red blooms}
Hermoine Hermione 2006 (Adelman), pastel pimk double; crooked stems, disbud
Irwin Altman I. Altman 2006 (Caprice), rose double; has side buds, small flowers
Jaycee   2001, 2009, (Wild), rose double; dead
Joker   2012, (OR Perennials), double
Julia Rose Julia Rose 2009, (Planteck), deep pink over yellow ground single to semi-double, intersectional. Earliest of the Intersectionals in Fairbanks. Gorgeous two-toned blooms; great garden plant with snow cover
Kansas Kansas 2001, 2009, (Wild) deep rose double. Died out at GBG site after 5 years{APGA- works well at other Fairbanks sites, nice color, short storage life; petals appear burned after 2 weeks in cold storage; not easy to harvest}
Karl Rosenfield   2001, 2009, (WIld), red double; died out at GBG (APGA-lots of blooms, flower quality not the best}
La Lorraine La Lorraine 2006, (Klehm's) creamy white tinted with pink, double; has side buds {APGA-growing well, needs deadheading}
Lady Alexandra Duff A. Duff 2006, (Wild), semi-double pink; lots of cabbage buds
Lady Kate lady Kate 2001, (Wild), pink double; Botrytis in cut buds
Largo Largo 2001, (Adelman), dark rose guard, yellow centers, single Japanese. Has side buds. Flowers match its name: largo! Beautiful, floppy petals. Great garden flower. Not for commercial cutting; as cut stem, some did not open
Leslie Peck   2012, (OR Perennials), Japanese
Lilian Wild Lillian 2005, (Wild), white double
Lottie Dawson Rea Lottie 2003, (Wild), pale pink double
Louis van Houtte   2001, 2009, (Wild), rose double; dead
Lowell Thomas Lowell Thomas 2012, (OR Perennials), semi-double to double red; nice long stems;
Magical Mystery Tour Magical Mystery Tour 2009, (Planteck), Intersectional
Marie Lemoine*   (APGA- voted first place in peony competition APGA 2011}
Marietta Sisson M. Sisson 2006, (Klehm's), medium pink double. Abundant crooked stems, side buds, cabbage buds. Some cut buds do not fully open
Mary Brand Mary B. 2005, (Wild), red double, Has side buds, gummy buds; lots of deformed, lopsided buds
Mary Jo Legare mary jo legare 2012, (OR Perennials), bomb
Mighty Mo   2001, 2009, (Wild), deep rose double
Minuet   2005, (Wild), pale pink double
Miss America*   single, white, closter of yellow stamens (APGA- very large blooms, amazing, vigorous, long flowering}
Madame de Verneville Mme. de  V. 2001, 2009, (Adelman), white, red flecks, double
Madame Emile Debantene Mme. de D. 2007, (Caprice), pink double, has side buds
Monsieur Jules Elie   2009, (Wild), rose bomb. Died early at some locations in GBG (APGA-large blossoms, long stems, needs wind protection. Huge blossoms with long stems that people ask for, but keeping them upright and straight is a challenge}
Mons. Martin Cahazac Martin C. 2006, (Wild), red double. Has side buds. Popular color in the garden
Moon of Nippon Moon of Nippon 2007, (Caprice), white, Japanese
Mother's Choice*   (APGA- supposed to be white double but is a gorgeous antique soft pink}
Mrs. FDR   2009, (Adelman), pale pink double; dead
Nick Shaylor Nick Shaylor 2001, 2009, (Wild), double pale pink. Many crooked stems, side buds
Nippon Beauty Nippon Beauty 2005, (Adelman), burgundy, Japanese
Nora Volz*   white, double (APGA-supposed to be white, but like so many whites in the rainy summer of 2011, were fringed with light pink, bud tops were crinkled on the one year plants}
Orlando Roberts O. Roberts 2006,  (Klehm's), black-red semi double. Small flowers but stunning color; weak stems
Paul M. Wild P. Wild 2005, (Wild), cherry red double
Paula Fay Paula Fay 2006, (WIld), dark rose pink semi-double (APGA-many gorgeous fluorescent pink blossoms with short stems first year. It doesn’t ship well.   Lovely and packed with buds, but I still think there is  a market for that big satin pink flower}
Pink Hawaiian Coral Pink Hawaiian Coral 2006, (Adelman), coral with yellow stamens, semi-double. Nice color but plants are weak and not very floriferous. Okay for home gardens but not for commercial cutting
Pink Parfait   2009, (Adelman), pink double; dead
President Roosevelt   2002, (WIld), medium red, double. 3-yr plants in Homer are medium red that get burgundy/purple stained petals as they age. They aren't heavy yielders but are reliable and have a nice bud; lots of Botrytis in cut buds
President Taft prestaft 2012, (Klehm's), double pink (APGA- young, strong perfomer}
Princess Bride   2009, (Wild), pink bomb
Princess Juliana Juliana 2009, (Peony Nursery Panevezys, Lithuania), pink double; small flower size
Raspberry Sundae   2001, 2009, (Wild), bomb. Died out at GBG {APGA-huge, mostly pink, dbl blossoms on mature plants were very large and beautiful.  They respond well to bone meal}
Red Charm red chm 2001, 2009, (Wild), deep red, bomb. Short stems, gorgeous bloom color; great garden plant and cut flower even with short stems {APGA-very large blossoms, tall strong stems need support in Homer, expensive roots. Do not disbud. Good, reliable performer.  One of the “favorites” at August, 2011 APGA Conference}.
Ruth Cobbs Ruth Cobbs 2005, (Wild), medium pink double; has side buds
Sadie Fisher's Peony sadie 2010, (Heirloom from Illinois garden),white double, large pure white blooms, very productive; this is not a cultivar but an heirloom named after Sadie Fisher simply because it came from her yard, true cultivar unknown
Sarah Bernhardt Sarah 2001, 2009, (Wild), pink double. Very productive, large blooms, vigorous plants. One of the top recommended pinks for cut flower production {APGA-old time favorite, dependable, some losses when snow cover is not sufficient, stores well, good season extender, very susceptible to fungal attack on Kenai P.} Reported to store well for 6 weeks in New Zealand. Often requested by name by florists
Serebrenyi Velvet Velvet 2009, (Wild), medium pink double; small blooms, weak stems
Shawnee Chief   2009, (Wild), deep rose double; died out at GBG. {APGA-grew well, late}
Shirley Temple Shirley Temple 2005, (WIld), white double. Small blooms, many misshapen stems. Cannot recommend as cut flower. Lots of deformed flowers; cabbage buds, gummy cabbge buds {APGA-slow starters taking several years before they produced, but are not strong producers-Fbks. Disappointing. Does not grow well}
Singing in the Rain S-in-Rain 2009, (Planteck), Intersectional two-toned light pink to orange; Small blooms but plenty of them. Hardy in the Interior on warm sites and with snow cover. As cut flower does not open well; lots of Botrytis
Sitka sitka 2003, (Wild), single white; Large blooms on tall, somewhat floppy stems. Great display for gardens; not a commercial cut flower
Smith Family Yellow smith 2009, (Planteck), yellow single Intersectional; bright creamy yellow blooms with orange centers. Very ornamental. Hardy in the Interior on warm sites with snow. Not recommended for cutting
Solange Solange 2005, (WIld), white double. Needs disbud. Susceptable to Botrytis. Lots of cabbage buds and gummy cabbage buds. Poor garden and cut flower. One of the few peonies not worth planting for any reason.
Sorbet   2002 pink. Died out at GBG {APGA - layer cake blossoms, intriguing, attention-getting blooms, prolific, stems need support}
Therese   2001, 2009, (Wild), pale pink double. Lots of cabbage buds; many cut buds did not open. Lots of Botrytis in cut buds. Did not survive in 2001 planting. Survived but barely in 2009 planting.
Victorian Blush Vic. Blush 2009, 2011, (Klehm's), white blushed with pink, short stems, short vase life
Victorie a la Marne*   {APGA-marginal performer, few buds even after 3 years in Fbks}
Vivid Rose Vivid Rose 2001, 2009, (Klehm's), rose double
Walter Faxon*   blush pink, [APGA- grows and ships well in Homer]
Westerner   2001, 2009, (Wild), pink Japanese; dead
White Sands White Sands 2007, (Adelman), white Japanese
Yankee Doodle Dandy Yankee 2009, (Planteck), pink intersectional; outstanding ITOH hubrid for home gardens. Flowers are big, beautifully two toned pink and hold up well. Great gardem flower for warm sites with lots of snow in the Interior.

Sources: OR Perennials = Oregon Perennials, Woodburn, OR; Adelman= Adelman Peony Gardens, Salem, OR; Wild= Gilbert Wild & Sons, Sarcoxie, MO (no longer ships to AK); Klehm= Klehm's Song Sparrow Nursery, Avalon, WI; Planteck, l’Assomption, Quebec, Canada; Caprice = Caprice Farm Nursery, Sherwood, Oregon; NW Bulb = Northwest Bulb & Perennials, Estacada, OR,