Hybrid Tree Peony Makes Anniversary Memories

'Calypso' (photo by Klehm's Song Sparrow)
We were met by the strains of Calypso when we arrived home today - our 25th Wedding Anniversary. Peony 'Calypso' was developed by my favorite tree peony breeder from the past - Nassos Daphnis. I ordered this beauty from Klehm's Song Sparrow Farm, and it arrived in great condition with two woody stems and even a flower bud!

Carsten Burkhardt's amazing Web Project Paeonia offers the following details from American Peony Society Bulletin #296 about 'Calypso': The F2 hybrid was introduced Aug. 24, 1995. First year bloomed 1974. Single hybrid, yellow with red outlines. F 2 seed from Coronal F 1. Color like Coronal, form open and petals much stronger and much heavier. The red on the ridges of each petal is very unusual and breath-taking. Good substance, 10-20 amount of bloom, stamens, pollen, no seeds, fragrant, reliable, one bud per stem. Good stem strength, grows 4-5 feet and blooms the last of May. Vigorous and dark green foliage.

Klehm's has several of the Daphnis hybrids, tree peonies with the most amazing colors, it's obvious this man was an artist. Actually Daphnis was an artist before he started hybridizing peonies. He also spent time working for a relative who was a florist when he arrived in New York from Greece.

I'd like to collect all 48 of Daphnis' hybrids; so far I have two, including 'Ariadne', planted just two years ago and growing back strongly this year after one of its main stems was snapped by the wind. For some reason the only photo I have of its bloom is of a bud that promises to open to a melenge of soft yet vibrant colors for which Daphnis is known.
'Ariadne' in bud
'Ariadne' (Klehm's Song Sparrow)

As for 'Calypso', we'll plant it this weekend after amending the soil in an area where it will be protected from damaging winds and visible from our sunroom window. It isn't likely it will bloom on our April anniversary very often if at all, but it will be easy for me to remember 2012 as the year that all bets were off and plants were sent into an early-blooming free-for-all.

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