Helen Matthews

“I was hopeful that a plant I received as ‘Great Lady’ (not) might be ‘Helen Matthews’ but have now decided it is not.  These photos are of plants in friends’ gardens.  

William Krekler received this plant as a Saunders seedling (no. number) and named it for his stepmother. Mr. George Peyton wrote that he believed it to be “the most beautiful of all peonies” (APS Bulletin No. 196, P.43, 1970) .  High praise indeed.

Perhaps in 2022, I will get the correct plant and be able to describe it more thoroughly.

Cultivar: Helen Matthews
Year: 1953 (Saunders/Krekler)
Seedling No: unknown
Parentage: unknown but presumed to be a lactiflora X Lobata of Perry as Krekler received “lobata” seedlings from Saunders
Flower: Color: brilliant red
Form: semi-double, cupped shape, very regular form
Blooms: Week 4
Carpels: 3-4, light yellow green
Stigmas: pale pink
Disc: white
Stamens: filaments light yellow (should be red)
Plant: Habit: upright
Foliage color: medium green
Foliage form: leaves are lobed
Recommendation: Highly recommended
Availability: Several specialty nurseries