Paeonia lactiflora, ‘Festiva Maxima’ heirloom herbaceous peony
Notable characteristics: Pure white petals with a few of the center petals rimmed in bright crimson. A vigorous grower and generous bloomer. Stems are long and need some support when blossoms once fully open. This cultivar is best suited for the cutting garden, where blossoms can be brought indoors and enjoyed for over a week. There are many good reasons that this cultivar has been a favorite in the cut flower markets of Europe and the United States for over 150 years.
‘Festiva Maxima’ was selected by the noted 19th century French horticulturalist, Auguste Miellez. He maintained extensive gardens of peonies and roses at Esquermes, outside of Lille.
Growth habit and size at maturity : 3′ tall and 3′ wide.
Flower form and size: Double, 8-10″.
Flower fragrance: Strong, spicy-sweet scent.
Bloom time: Early season lactiflora herbaceous peony, blooms in our USDA zone 6a garden in the first or second week of June.