The species identity of the pollen parent “ozieri alba” is a little unclear.  It was obtained from Vilmorin, and Saunders reported it as “likely in the corallina-broteri-cambessessi group, or maybe corsica“; it is now thought to be a form of P. corsica from Mt. Alba in the Ozieri region of Sardinia. Silvia Saunders had its chromosomes counted. There are 10, which would be expected from a cross of the diploid P. lactiflora and the diploid P. corsica but not if one parent had been one of the tetraploid species such as P. coriacea.

This is a very unique peony with an unusual flower form and excellent foliage.  It’s been called the “hosta of the peony world” but no hosta sports such a beautiful flower. Since it was introduced as a strain, it is possible there is still some variation in the plants being offered today.

Cultivar: Halcyon
Year: 1938
Seedling No: Strain, 14835-14841. Page 170 of Saunders’ Notebook I
Parentage: 12: lactiflora X “ozieri alba” (from Vilmorin) (See notes)
Flower: Color: pink, fades lighter, dark pink flares, waxy
Form: single
Blooms: Week 4
Carpels: 4-5, light rosy silver, woolly
Stigmas: dark pink
Disc: dark pink
Stamens: filaments dark red entire length
Plant: Habit: rounded bush
Foliage color: medium green, shining, red at stem joints
Foliage form: leaves crinkled, not lobed
Height: 24″ in 2021 but recently moved; 29″ in 2022
Recommendation: Highly recommended
Availability: Several specialty nurseries