This illustration of the semi-double tree peony appeared in volume 17 of Edwards’s Botanical Register, published in 1831. In the text accompanying this plate, John Lindley wrote that the Register was “indebted to the Earl of Mountnorris”, who raised the tree peony from seed and supplied Lindley and the illustrator Sarah Ann Drake with specimens from which Drake “figur[ed] this beautiful variety of the Tree Pæony”. This was indeed an impressive feat, as tree peonies take much longer to grow than garden peonies. They’re well worth the wait, with larger, hardier flowers that last longer once cut. The “semi-double” categorization refers to the number of petal rows: a semi-double peony has more than one row of petals coming out of the crown of the flower, but the anthers are still visible when the flower is in bloom. This striking coloration—white petals with a deep purple center—is typical of the Cora Louise variety of semi-double peony.
Edwards’s Botanical Register was initially dubbed The Botanical Register when it was begun in 1815 with Sydenham Edwards at the helm. After Edwards died in 1819, the illustrated horticultural magazine passed into the hands of its publisher, James Ridgway. It exchanged hands again in 1829 to John Lindley, who renamed the magazine Edwards’s Botanical Register. Lindley published another nineteen volumes of his writing and Sarah Ann Drake’s illustrations before retiring the magazine in 1847.
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Museo Portfolio Rag
10"x8" | edition of 20
14"x11" | edition of 200
20"x16" | edition of 50