Paeonia ‘Oochigeas’ – Itoh Peony
‘Oochigeas’ is an exquisite Itoh peony variety that features dark purple flares that blend into its creamy apricot-pink petals. The double blooms are accompanied by an average of 2-3 side buds and are supported by sturdy stems that require no staking. It’s wonderful for cut flower arrangements.
This is a vigorous, strong plant with lush, dark green foliage.
- Height: 70-80 cm
- Lightly fragrant
About the Name
The name ‘Oochigeas’ comes from an Abenaki Native American legend similar to Cinderella. It’s about three sisters: The eldest sisters, Oona and Abit, are beautiful and proud, while the youngest, Oochigeas, is timid and plain.
The three sisters make pottery in exchange for meat, and Oochigeas’ job is to harden the clay pots in the fire. This has burned and scarred her face, and singed her hair, earning her the name “Oochigeas”, meaning “little scarred one.”
Across the lake lives Team, a young hunter with the power of invisibility, and sought after as a potential husband. One day, his sister announces that he will marry the first girl who can see him.
Abit and Oona, Oochigeas’ sisters, attempted to see Team but failed. They attempted to lie, but their dishonesty was discovered and they ran away in disgrace. Despite her plain appearance and ridicule from the village, Oochigeas attempts and, with encouragement, succeeds in seeing Team. She correctly answers a question about his appearance, proving her honesty.
Her appearance was then magically transformed, with her hair growing long and thick and scars vanishing from her face, proving that courage and truthfulness are more important than outward appearance.
One can appreciate the breeder’s imagination when naming this beautiful variety after the legend. The dark purple, almost burnt, central flares of each bloom give way to divine, peachy tones, telling a transformation story of its own.
About the Breeder
This 2007 crossing first bloomed in 2012, and was bred by Thierry Rat of Moissac, France. Rat is also the breeder of Belle Toulousaine and Caroline Constabel.