Paeonia lactiflora ‘Nymphe’ – Herbaceous Peony
‘Nymphe’ is a very pretty, single-flowering variety of herbaceous peony, released in 1913 by breeder Auguste Dessert of Chenonceaux, France. The single blooms are a warm pink with a hint of mauve and proudly display yellow stamens at their centre. The lightly fragrant flowers are held high above deep green foliage on 90 cm stems. Blooms late in the season and can also be grown in a partly shaded position.
- Height: 90 cm
- Fragrance: Light
- Late season
- Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit
About the Breeder
Etienne Méchin, the grandfather of Auguste Dessert, began collecting peonies in 1840, which eventually led to the establishment of a nursery business in Chenonceaux, France. This collection included some of the first Chinese peony varieties imported to France, acquired through a purchase from Modeste Guérin’s nursery following Guérin’s passing in 1866.
In 1882, Auguste started working alongside his grandfather at the nursery, eventually taking over its operations in 1895. Etienne Méchin’s peony nursery went on to become one of France’s longest-running businesses dedicated to peony cultivation. It actively imported and introduced both herbaceous and tree peonies until the 19th century.
Over a span of 27 years, Auguste Dessert managed the nursery, introducing numerous new peony varieties. During this time, he emerged as one of France’s foremost authorities on peonies and acquired portions of renowned French peony collections from growers and collectors such as Monsieur Jacques, a gardener to Louis Philippe, as well as Victor Verdier and Eugene Verdier.
In 1922, Auguste Dessert sold his extensive peony collection, comprising 30,000 plants, to Edouard Doriat. This collection was substantial enough to fulfill the year’s orders and was relocated to Lapalisse, France.
Guillaume Alfred Edouard Doriat (1875 – 1953) released another of Auguste Dessert’s peonies in 1927, known as ‘Madame Emile Debaténe‘. It graces many great gardens today.