Sunday, May 24, 2015


Peony "Cheddar Charm" is a crazy looking flower.  It could also be called fried egg because it looks so flat with a big yellow yoke in the middle.  

This baby has many great qualities.  

It is highly fragrant and will perfume an entire room.  I've planted it near the walk so it shares the sweetness with everyone who passes.  

The huge yellow center is all about stamens covered with pollen.  And the stamens are covered with honey bees.  The bees aren't interested in stinging anyone because they are so busy covering their back legs with what looks like yellow gaucho pants.  If a bee could roll over on its back and wiggle with joy, this would be the place it would choose. 

It produces many flowers.  They lay flat when the sun is shining and on a cloudy day or in the evening, they partially close.  I suspect it has something to do with protecting the pollen covered center.  The petals are very white and look delicate (they're not.)  

I don't know of any bad peonies but Cheddar Charm is certainly up there with the best.  The stems are sturdy and it doesn't flop even when it rains. 

The facts:  Cheddar Charm is a Herbaceous perennial with the Japanese anemone form.  Good up to Zone 3.  Grows to about 30-inches high.  Blooms in May or June depending on the weather.   It's described as vigorous, lush and strong.  It was hybridized by Klehm in 1992.  I bought this beauty at Hornbaker Gardens in Princeton IL six years ago.  

Pick a permanent spot since peonies don't like to be moved.  They won't die but they'll pout for a few years while they re-establish. They like full sun and don't like to sit in standing water.  Once they're established, they will need nothing other than your admiration.  Once planted, a peony will live longer than you, or me, or our next six generations.  A peony is in for the long haul.

One more picture should do it - maybe:


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