This was my first Saunders herbaceous peony and is likely the most widely grown of all his introductions. It is another of the quadruple hybrids named for a Greek goddess – Athena is the goddess of wisdom and warfare and patroness of Athens. It wasn’t registered during Saunders’ lifetime.
‘Athena’ has strong stems and is a favorite cut flower and show peony as well as a good garden specimen.
|Seedling No:||16245. Page 47 of Silvia Saunders’ Notebook|
|Parentage:||28: lactiflora X (‘Otto Froebel’ X 5397) (5397 = mlokosewitschiii X macrophylla)|
|Flower:||Color:||ivory tinged pink with rosy flares; fades to white|
|Form:||single, cupped when first opening, 2 rows of petals|
|Carpels:||usually 3, light green, slightly woolly|
|Stigmas:||dark rosy pink|
|Disc:||white, edged pink, obscure|
|Stamens:||filaments yellow, abundant stamens|
|Plant:||Habit:||rounded bush, can flop|
|Foliage color:||medium green|
|Foliage form:||medium sized leaves, not notched|
|Height:||31″ in 2022|
|Availability:||Most specialty nurseries|