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About Intersectional (Itoh) Peonies
also see:  Intersectional Peony Catalog | Peony Culture
Intersectional peonies originate from a cross between a herbaceous lactiflora peony and a woody (tree) peony.  The resulting intersectional plant is somewhat intermediate in appearance, but has a rather herbaceous plant habit.  'Itoh' is a name often used for the group, but is actually the name of the man that hybridized and flowered the first plants in this group.  The actual 'Itoh' Intersectionals include: 'Gold Crown', 'Yellow Emperor', 'Yellow Dream' and a couple of others.  Whatever you want to call them, the Intersectionals are a wonderful new addition to a peony garden.

Flowers often more closely resemble the woody peony and can have quite unique coloration.  Carriage is very good with little, if any, leaning.  Some cultivars have fragrance, but not that of a lactiflora.  

The characteristically deep green foliage is waxy and of good substance.  Leaves generally have deeply cut lobes, that most closely resemble their woody peony parent and in many cases make a fine looking shrub out of flower.  Cutting the foliage down at the end of the growing season, as with herbaceous peonies, is a good practice to prevent disease in subsequent years.   Disease resistance is excellent and the plants often display hybrid vigor.  Plants may be divided every 3 to 5 years with good results, but a saw will be necessary as the crown is very woody.

This hybrid has been difficult to hybridize from seed due to fertility incompatibilities; therefore prices tend to be high, as is demand.  The group is gaining in popularity and becoming commonplace in many fine gardens.  Perhaps the best yellow peony available today comes from this group of plants (Bartzella).  Roger Anderson of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin is the most well known hybridizer of these plants and to date has produced the finest examples of the group.  Other notable hybridizers are Don Smith, Don Hollingsworth, Irene Tolomeo and Bill Seidl.  Many other hybridizers are now working to further this group's best characteristics and we have high hopes that new breaks will occur in the near future!  For further information, please see our Culture and Care page.
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