Legion of Honor

Several vendors comment on the almost chartreuse foliage as the plant emerges in the spring.  It turns to a light green. The flowers are fuller than several of the other Saunders “reds” coming from similar crosses of lactiflora X officinalis such as ‘Bordeaux’, ‘Defender’, and ‘Liberator’ and so may be more appealing to many.  Certainly it was a “hit” when it was first introduced, appearing in the Court of Honor at the 1941 APS convention show held in Syracuse, NY.

The lower photo was taken in a friend’s garden.


Cultivar: Legion of Honor
Year: 1941
Seedling No: 12244. Page 143 of Saunders’ Notebook I
Parentage: 5: lactiflora X officinalis 3738


Flower: Color: cherry scarlet
Form: listed as semi-double, 2-3 rows of petals so probably should be single
Blooms: Week 5
Carpels: 3-6, green, woolly
Stigmas: dark pink
Disc: ivory
Stamens: filaments white
Plant: Habit: upright
Foliage color: light green, green stems
Foliage form: narrow, lobed
Height: 30″ in 2021


Recommendation: Recommended
Availability: Several specialty nurseries