Paeonia lactiflora ‘Duchesse de Nemours’ – Herbaceous Peony
This grand old lady of the garden is best known for the purity of its white colouring. It was raised and introduced in 1856 by Jacques Calot, a Peony grower in Douai, northern France.
Jaques Calot’s love of peonies secured the plant collection belonging to the Comte de Cussy in 1850. He used this collection in his plant breeding, which saw the release of 20 new varieties including ‘Duchesse de Nemours’. The collection was sold to Felix Crousse in 1872, who also went on to become a great peony breeder.
This variety has large green-white buds, which open to beautiful white, bowl shaped blooms, 13cm wide. As they age, the guard petals turn back and reveal lovely white incurving inner petals, with a primrose lemon glow at their base. Blooms also have a beautiful perfume that is strong and sweet, reminiscent to that of Lilly of the Valley.
Stem height to 80cm, with mid-season blooming over dark green foliage.
Recipient of a Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit in 1993, 137 years after its introduction, and remains one of the most popular white peony varieties sold today.