The American Peony Society is pleased to announce ‘Joker’ as the recipient of the 2021 Gold Medal Award. ‘Joker’ is a cultivar belonging to the herbaceous hybrid group, often referred to as a garden peony or bush peony. The plant was hybridized by William S. Bockstoce of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and was acquired as a seedling upon his death in 1963 by Henry Landis of Willowdale, Ontario, Canada. Later Allan Rogers of Oregon, USA acquired the plant and registered it in 2004.
‘Joker’ is a popular cultivar with peony aficionados for its excellent plant habit and consistency of bloom. Plants grow no taller than 32 inches (often shorter) and flowers are usually borne one per stem, but may produce a side bud or two. No mechanical support is required for this cultivar, as stems are sturdy and carry blooms upright. Foliage is deep green and covers stems nearly to the ground, providing and excellent foil for the blooms and a superior visual appearance in the garden. Plants are of easy culture and show excellent plant increase, given proper siting and care usually provided to peonies.
Flowers are fully double and open a deep pink color, later some of the central petals fade to a lighter shade of pink while outer petals remain the original color. This fading habit is unique and striking in the garden or vase. The long stems are beneficial for cut flower purposes and flowers are longer lived than many in its class. This cultivar is consistently regarded by many gardeners and growers as one of the best garden plants for flower and plant quality, making it a worthy Gold Medal Peony.
Registration information can be found at: https://americanpeonysociety.org/cultivars/peony-registry/joker/
Announcement information may be found at: https://americanpeonysociety.org/about/awards/gold-medal/