Flowering Bushes · Flowers · Peonies

Mystery Peony – One of My Favorite. Perhaps You Can Help Me to Identify It.

Peonies finally started blooming in our area, so I though it is a good time to write about them on this blog. This year they are blooming quite late comparing to the 2 previous years because we had extremely wet spring and it was pretty cold as well.

One of the peonies in my garden “Red Charm”, which I have purchased last year, is finally blooming  the first time in our garden. I will show you its pictures soon. It only has one flower, but it is a good start. The second peony we have in our garden – Sarah Bernhardt, which I have also purchased last year, is not blooming yet and it even doesn’t have any flower buds.  Maybe I have planted it too deep, or it just needs more time. Last year in the fall I have to move it from the front of our house to the garden since it didn’t have enough light there and got some mold. Fortunately it has recovered very well and looks strong so far.

But today I would like to tell you about one of the most beautiful peonies I have discovered in Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens during the last years Peony Festival and Show in Oshawa, Canada. Oshawa is located in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), about 30 km from Toronto’s East border.  You can see this peony in 2 pictures below, which were taken during the Peony Show and Festival in Oshawa in 2016.

Mystery peony with a label "Chocolate Soldier" but probably it is not the correct name. Peony Show and Festival, Oshawa, Canada, 2016.
Mystery peony with a label “Chocolate Soldier” but probably it is not the correct name. Peony Show and Festival, Oshawa, Canada, 2016.

Beside this original looking peony was a label with a name “Chocolate Soldier”. I think it was one of the most beautiful peonies presented during this show. I though “Chocolate Soldier” was its correct name, but I am not sure anymore since after I have searched for it on the Internet, I have actually found totally different looking peony with this name, which you can see here. The other peony indeed looks as it could be bearing this name because of much darker colour.

In fact I was wondering why this white cream to pink shade flower got this strange name since it doesn’t have any colour which looks even remotely close to chocolate, unless it would be a white chocolate.  I thought the other part of the name “soldier” might be coming from the way it grows and hold its flowers – very erect, standing strong and carrying its blooms facing more up than many other peonies.

Here is another view on this mystery peony, so you can see it from a different angle.

Another view on this beautiful peony growing in the Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens during Peony Festival and Show, Oshawa, Canada, 2016.
Another view on this beautiful peony growing in the Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens during Peony Festival and Show, Oshawa, Canada, 2016.

I very much like how this peony displays its flowers, as well as its very full shape and muted shades slowly changing from white with a hint of cream, through pastel and then stronger pinks. If I will be able to correctly identify it, I will add this information to this blog.

This mysterious peony is certainly on my wish list and I initially thinking it is called “Chocolate Soldier”, I was already looking for it in various garden nurseries, but was not able to find it so far. It now seems like a good thing because if the name displayed under this flower was wrong, I would be buying a totally different looking peony. I wish people preparing the Peony Festival in Oshawa would be making sure the names under the flowers are correct and there are no missing labels, which sometimes was the case as well. Perhaps you can help me to identify this beautiful peony and let me know where I can buy it in Ontario, Canada. Thank you.

I have also attended this year’s Peony Festival and Show in Oshawa and I was looking for it growing in Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens, where it was last year, but I couldn’t find it. Perhaps because of so wet spring it was not blooming yet, or maybe it was removed from this garden, or transplanted somewhere else. I hope to see it again next year.

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The Copyright.

All photographs and this article are copyrighted by me, Renata Ratajczyk unless otherwise mentioned. I you would like to use any of them in your publications or on your website, please contact me.

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