Jean Cowley

In 1940, Saunders named a peony, ‘Ellen Cowley’ for the newborn daughter of the Hamilton College President, so it seems fitting for him to have also named one for the President’s wife, Jean McCampbell Cowley.

The two plants are from similar crosses and may be hard to tell apart by their very similar flowers. ‘Ellen Cowley’ is much taller than ‘Jean Cowley’; I wonder if that was true of the people as well. The flowers are equally beautiful.

Cultivar: Jean Cowley
Year: 1942
Seedling No: 9933. Page 22 of Saunders’ Notebook I
Parentage: 7: lactiflora 1875 X  “lobata of Perry”
Flower: Color: deep bright cherry, outer petals streaked white
Form: semi-double, 3 rows of petals
Blooms: Week 5
Carpels: 3-4, light grey-green, woolly
Stigmas: deep bright cherry
Disc: white
Stamens: filaments are yellow
Plant: Habit: rounded bush
Foliage color: light green, veined
Foliage form: narrow leaves, terminal leaf sometimes lobed
Height: 20″ in 2021; 22″ in 2022
Recommendation: Recommended
Availability: Several specialty nurseries