Edward Steichen

The lower photo is of a young plant. It has spread out more as it has matured and in 2020 most of the blooms were hanging down near the ground so I would recommend giving it some support.

This plant was named for Edward Steichen (1879-1973) who served as a colonel in World War I; the plant was originally known as “Colonel Steichen”.  Edward Steichen was a pioneer in fashion photography and a long time Director of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art.  He also had an interest in flowers, becoming a hybridizer of delphiniums.  Whether through his photography or his plant breeding, he must have encountered A.P. Saunders and his daughter Silvia, herself a photographer working in New York, but I have not found a specific reference to their friendship.

Cultivar: Edward Steichen
Year: 1941
Seedling No: 12488. Page 142 of Saunders’ Notebook I
Parentage: 11A: officinalis ‘Sultan’ X lactiflora (double fleck)
Flower: Color: deep red
Form: single (registration says semi-double); occasional petaloids
Blooms: Week 3 or 4
Carpels: 3-5, cream yellow, woolly
Stigmas: bright pink (Silvia Saunders)
Disc: white, obscure
Stamens: filaments reddish at base, shading to yellow (Silvia Saunders)
Plant: Habit: very spreading after established, heavy flowers flop
Foliage color: lighter green than most
Foliage form: narrow leaves
Height: 32″ in 2021; 35″ in 2022 (staked)
Recommendation: Recommended, but support this plant
Availability: Several specialty nurseries