High Noon

‘High Noon’ won the Gold Medal given by the American Peony Society in 1989. It is probably the best known and most available Saunders woody peony.  In fact, you may get a ‘High Noon’ if you buy a woody peony from a non-specialty nursery!  About one-third of the woodies I’ve purchased from retailers turned out to be ‘High Noon’ instead of what they were labeled.  Several were also plagued by overgrowth of the herbaceous rootstock.  You get what you pay for!! So buy ‘High Noon’ from a reputable specialty nursery instead of at a big box store.

‘High Noon’ has a tendency to put on new growth in late summer and to re-bloom in fall.  Scientists in China have studied differences in gene expression between ‘High Noon’ and non-rebloomers to identify genes controlling floral organ development (Wang et al. BMC Genomics (2019) 20:572; https://doi.org/10.1186/s12864-019-5857-0 ).

Cultivar: High Noon
Year: 1952
Seedling No: 14307
Group: Golden Hind
Flower: Color: bright yellow, short crimson flares
Form: full semi-double, about 6 rows of petals, may have petals mixed in with staments
Blooms: Week 4
Carpels: 6, green
Stigmas: creamy yellow
Sheath: pale cream (not conspicuous)
Stamens: filaments light yellow, almost white, uneven
Plant: Habit: rounded bush
Foliage color: medium green, edges tinged red
Foliage form: fairly narrow
Height: 31″ on 15 year plant
Recommendation: Highly recommended
Availability: Most nurseries specializing in woody peonies