‘Mystery’ can produce a very “finished” flower, perfectly round and carrying a dramatically dark center.  Silvia Saunders displayed it at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May 1962 where it won a Commendation. She speculated that it might be a tetraploid.

There are good examples of ‘Mystery’ at both Winterthur and the Scott Arboretum where I photographed them in 2017.  However, these photos are from my own garden.


Cultivar: Mystery
Year: 1948
Seedling No: 16475
Group: Mystery


Flower: Color: “pearled lavender” (Saunders) with dark plum flares
Form: single, 2-3 rows of petals “with wonderful substance” (Silvia)
Blooms: Week 5-6
Carpels: 5, green
Stigmas: cream with light pink tinge
Sheath: light creamy lavender
Stamens: filaments dark red plum, short
Plant: Habit: rounded bush
Foliage color: medium green, slightly red edges
Foliage form: leaves wider than typical with good substance, edged and tipped bronzy
Height: 29″ on 6 year plant


Recommendation: Highly recommended
Availability: Few nurseries specializing in woody peonies