Paeonia rockii hybrid

azngrnthumbsMay 27, 2006

I thought I purchased straight P. rockii from my supplier, but this one opened for the first time since my order arrived 3 years ago.

It's quite nice and very fragrant!


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peonyman(Zone 5, Lawrence, Ks)


Paeonia rockii like Paeonia suffructicosa has many color variants within the species. I doubt that there is really reason to believe that your plant is a hybrid. Various shades of pink are most often found in the wild but white is the best known to us because it is the one that was brought back to England by Joseph Rock and has been well distributed over the years. Your particular specimen is a nice color. I have one that is similar in color but more striated. I just got mine last fall and it made a beautiful display this spring. I had 5 that bloomed in colors of white, pink, purple and lavender. All of them had the distintive flares that really set the flowers off and identifies them as rockii.

Paeonia rockii can also have semi-double blossoms as well.

From your picture it appears that your flowers produce lots of pollen. The carpels on my plants have already begun to swell and I assume that seed will be present in early fall.

This one turned out to be rather double and a bit more lavender than it appears in this photo. This one is a white that is somewhat typical of Joseph Rock. This is more lavender than the photo shows. The wind was so fierce that I had trouble getting a photo of this at all. Note: the color is rather striped within the bloom.
    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 2:50AM
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Thanks for the information. You're right, we're more familiar with the white form and, come to think of it, the supplier was offering various shades of colors which I just assumed were hybrids bred from the typical white form with some P. suffructicosa blood that gives it a different color.

Can you reliably use the purple flare in the center as a trait to distinguish P. rockii, its forms and hybrids?

Thanks for the info and your photos!!


    Bookmark   June 5, 2006 at 3:13AM
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peonyman(Zone 5, Lawrence, Ks)

I am not sure about this but there are some peonies that I have always assumed to be suffructicosa that have heavy flares. One of the most widespread is Kamada Nishiki. This cultivar has flares that are very similar to the rockii flare.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2006 at 6:59PM
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peonyman(Zone 5, Lawrence, Ks)


Actually I don't know what this means. Does it mean that some Suffructicosas have flares or does it mean that Kamada Nishiki is actually a Rockii peony instead. I think Kamada Nishiki has been in Japan for centuries. All tree peonies originated in China so who knows if it could have travelled from Gansu to Japan as a P. rockii several hundred years ago.

Really there is nothing definitive here. Maybe other sources have more info.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2006 at 7:08PM
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peonyman(Zone 5, Lawrence, Ks)


I am sorry that I keep ranting here. But I keep thinking of more ways to confuse you. I guess I have to add that Kamada Nishiki does not have the typical foliage that P rockii has. Generally P rockii has smaller leaves and the secondary compound leaves narrow near the base with a more prominent petiole. Kamada Nishiki has large foliage of the suffructicose that is dark green, not at all like rockii foliage.

Now if you are not sufficiently cofused you are a better person than myself.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2006 at 7:28PM
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No confusion at all! It makes sense to me that the Chinese origins of the Japanese cultivars could have influenced certain traits such as the "rockii flare".

I remember reading about the differences between the Japanese and Chinese cultivars. The heavy doubles seem to be more prized to the Chinese than the single/semi-doubles of the Japanese cultivars. Since the flares are more prominent on the singles and semi-doubles, I would assume that P. rockii would be much sought after by the Japanese, but I've never seen it offered by growers who carry the Japanese cultivars and P. rockii seems to always be associated with China.

Interesting plants with such an intriguing history!


    Bookmark   June 8, 2006 at 1:31AM
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robiniaquest(z6 MO)

May I ask where you got those? They are really incredible!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2007 at 3:16PM
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peonyman(Zone 5, Lawrence, Ks)

These were imported from China through a local society.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2007 at 2:14AM
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Even more importantly these were seedlings not grafted plants. So those of you who have wanted to try growing your own you can see what you might get. But you might get the duds also. All mine were washed out small flowered lavender. Not pretty like Leon"s.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2007 at 9:08PM
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blueheron(z6 PA)

Where can I purchase the white cultivar? It looks beautiful.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 7:51PM
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