Good Cheer

This has proven a hard plant to find and difficult to keep alive.  It is one of the four “little reds” introduced from crosses between officinalis and peregrina, the others being ‘Ladybird’, ‘Little Dorrit’, and ‘Scarlet Tanager’.  (I can find no evidence of ‘Ladybird’ still being grown.) These are sought after by collectors and hybridizers because they are fertile.  Don Hollingsworth and others used this plant extensively in his breeding program.

The first plant I bought under this name proved to be the very different and much more vigorous ‘Patriot’.  Thanks to fellow APS Directors Cory Tischman and Craig Aiken for their photos.

Cultivar: Good Cheer
Year: 1942
Seedling No: 11612. Page 58 of Saunders’ Notebook III
Parentage: 22: officinalis Alba Plena X “lobata of Perry”
Flower: Color: light coral pink
Form: single
Blooms: Week 5
Carpels: light green, woolly
Stigmas: light coral pink
Disc: [DISC]
Stamens: filaments light pinkish
Plant: Habit: upright
Foliage color: medium green
Foliage form: narrow, lobed
Height: dwarf, 27″ in 2021 (young plant)
Recommendation: Collectors’ plant
Availability: Rare, received from a friend