June 28, 2012
Coral Supreme Peony Bloom Progression
The two 'Coral Supreme' peonies in my front yard bloomed for the first time this year, and I captured a series of photos of one of the flowers to show how the it looked at each stage. The photos below were taken from June 11 to June 20. I expect the bloom lasted longer than usual because we had very cool, wet, often overcast weather during that time.
Here is the bud, which was a vibrant color that seemed to glow in the overcast weather. Coral Supreme is 36" tall, 42" wide, semi-double, early blooming, and doesn't require staking.
Two days later, the flower opened to show this lovely mix of colors. When I consulted Keith Swenson from Swenson Gardens, a specialty peony grower, he had this to say about the different coral peonies they sell: "If you want a true coral go with Coral Charm, coral with white/ivory tones Coral Supreme, coral with peachy undertones Pink Hawaiian Coral and the truly unique coral with tri phase/tri color blooms Coral Sunset." He says that if you want the color to stay more vivid, you should plant these coral peonies where they'll get some afternoon shade. Well, mine are in full sun so they faded.
The color was still pretty as it softened over the next week. Above you can see how the flower closed up on overcast days.
Now you can see more of the interesting seed pods, which were fuzzy sage green with hot pink tips.
A week after opening, the flower is ready to come apart. You can see the stamens already falling out of the center.
My plants are still small, and they each produced only five flowers. The overall effect was kind of spindly, though that should improve as the plants push out more leaves and flowers with each additional year of growth. Some of the flowers leaned over and some stayed upright, but none of them broke or bent completely to the ground. Now that blooming is over, the light green leaves blend in with the rest of the landscape. I like my 'Coral Supreme' peonies so much that I've found a spot to add a third in the front yard.