Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Tree Peonies starting.

For those of you who know of my Blog as the Nature of Robertson, this blog will begin to explain the quirky name within the URL: "peonyden"

Yesterday, the very first of my Japanese Tree Peonies bloomed. These plants have had a tough time since I moved them to Robertson as tiny plants (mostly offsets from parent plants, as that is all I could afford).
This is "Shimane Hakugan".
Most of the other Tree Peonies are still alive, but some have thrived and some not. Some have been out-competed by the weeds, and are barely alive, dare I say it. Anyway, I have long since given up fretting about the troubles they have experienced.

This is what I like to refer to as the "eye" of the Tree Peony flower.
It is of course, the "sheath" surrounding the carpels.
The stigmas are exposed but only at the tips.
The golden anthers are spectacular.
They contrast with the white petals and the dark maroon carpels.
Click to enlarge the image.
These plants are so stunningly beautiful that I am simply grateful for any flowers they offer me.

This next one is the very different plant called "Good Lady". It was bred by Dr Bernard Chow, in Melbourne. Its bud is just showing colour, and will be open in a few days, if the weather is kind to me. This link will take you to one of my earliest photos of this plant in flower, as published very kindly by Anni Heino. The open flower is a lovely soft dusty rose pink. This plant is one of Dr Chow's advanced generation hybrids.The foliage on this plant is very strong, and is quite broad, unlike many of the Saunders Hybrids, (American Hybrid Tree Peonies) which tend to be much finer in the leaves.
The beading of fresh rain drops looks lovely.

Here is Chinese Dragon, one of Professor Saunders very earliest hybrids.
You can see both the finer leaves, and also their distinctive reddish colouring. The bright red flower is very pleasant. This flower seemingly came from P. delavayi but it was regarded (at the time) as a variant of P. lutea (for reasons not supported by modern taxonomists). So, Chinese Dragon and all of Saunders other hybrid Tree Peonies were regarded as "lutea hybrids" - a total misnomer. "American Hybrid TPs" or the simpler "Saunders Hybrid TPs" is a better name for this plant and its relatives.

The ground cover plant with the green leaves, is a native Geranium.
This plant was nearly destroyed three years ago by devastating winds, when the plant was heavily in bud.

No comments: