Original name Commander. Flowers are held high above the foliage on strong stems that tend to be at an angle. In 2020 the luxuriant foliage had distinct purple overtones early in the spring (second photo).

Cultivar: Liberator
Year: 1938 or 1940 (two different dates have been recorded, likely 1938)
Seedling No: 7224. Page 136 of Saunders’ Notebook I
Parentage: 5: lactiflora ‘Primevere’ X officinalis (crimson single)
Flower: Color: deep red or crimson, may become purplish with age
Form: single, 2 rows of about 10 rounded petals
Blooms: Week 5
Carpels: 5, light green, glabrous
Stigmas: dark pink
Disc: crimson (reported); white, edged pink (mine)
Stamens: reddish throughout
Plant: Habit: somewhat spreading bush
Foliage color: deep green, sometimes purplish toned when young
Foliage form: leaves pointed, very crinkled and somewhat infolder
Height: 42″ in 2021
Recommendation: Recommended
Availability: Several specialty nurseries