Peony Registry

Elise McKenna

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Elise McKenna
P. C. “Chris” Laning / Don Hollingsworth
Herbaceous Hybrid

Received: January 10, 2020. Hollingsworth No. 2275, parentage unknown. The plant was acquired with others from plants flowering among the Laning seedlings. Red SEMIDOUBLE to DOUBLE flowers typically opening in the Early period (Third Week rating). Extra rows of broad, lightly cupped guard petals surround a band of inner petals, which in turn enclose the lesser band of short stamens, all of which surround the inner flower, making up the two-stage, flower-in-flower form of standard Double peony flowers. Stamens and carpals tend to appear normal, but pollen is scarce and no seeds have been noticed, suggesting the chromosome state may be triploid. Flowers 6-7 inches in size (15-18 cm), borne one per stem. Average height is about 28 inches (71 cm). Stems are stout and stand well against harsh weather while in flower. Broad leaflets cover the bush to near the ground. Foliage holds up well into the summer season, for a multi species hybrid. Leaflets are only partly tolerant of mildew, but severe destruction of plant appearance has not been seen. Breeders desiring to capitalize on the presence of two-stage doubling genetic potential of this peony might have best luck crossing it with a known fertile tetraploid. This name honors granddaughter Elise McKenna Benne.

Reference: 2020-DIR:25