Tree Peony 'Souvenir de Maxime Cornu'

Sumptuous blooms.

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Huge flowers, up to 25cm across. The petals are a luscious cream to deep yellow with tracings of pink and apricot across the edges. A beautiful and unusual combination. This bloom will be a talking point in your garden.

Tree Peony ‘Souvenir de Maxime Cornu’ is a fully double form that dates back to 1919. It is named for the Professor Maxim Cornu (1842-1901) who was the director of the French Botanical Garden, Jardin de Plantes, in his time he stated that Tree Peonies were not suited as garden plants and would never be popular. Perhaps he is now turning in his grave as the one named after him remains popular in gardens still today, a hundred years after it was created. It is also known as Kinkadu and Golden Pavilion.

The flowers are so big they can be a little hidden by the foliage, but a bit of staking can work wonders, or plant it on a terrace so you can enjoy them from below. It makes a great floating flower.

Tree Peonies bring imperial splendour to your garden. They also make wonderful cut flowers. They are a great choice for small gardens, because they are so slow growing, don’t take up much space and the flowers are a great focal point. They are great for large gardens too, because of their lasting display and once established they can be left to their own devices and you can take that time to care for other plants.

Tree Peonies look exotic and temperamental, and yet they are pretty hardy, and grow well in Cool to Temperate Australian gardens that receive frosts.

Tree Peony ‘Alice Harding’ should flower in the first year.

Tree Peonies need cold winters and hot summers for best flowers. We recommend you treat your Tree Peonies a bit like hungry teenage boys and feed them well! Water to establish, then only if rainfall is low. They have impressive dry tolerant once established. Best planted with protection from the hot afternoon sun and don’t mind a filtered light position, though too much shade will result in less flowers. They need well drained soil and a permanent garden position. Once established they will pretty much take care of themselves, the only pruning you need to do is aesthetic, you just need to add some fertiliser so you can enjoy the best of the blooms, and if the frost is very hard where you live, add a winter mulch.

Tree Peonies differ from Herbaceous Peonies in that they have a woody base that remains year round and which magically transforms into a shrub with the warmth of spring. Peonies on the other hand die all the way back to the ground.

Why so expensive? They are difficult to propagate and take years to establish. They are also slow growing, so need a few years, some up to half a decade of love and devotion from our farmer before they are ready for your garden. The newer varieties are also generally imported so in the first few years of growth incur extra costs.

Code

PESSM

Botantical name

Paeonia suffruticosa

Height

90-150cm

Width

60-90cm

Flowers

Spring to Summer

Climate

Cool to Temperate

Availability

Australia wide

Frost hardiness

Aspect

Full Sun to Semi Shade

Supplied as

Bare rooted

Water needs

2