Herbaceous hybrid. Parentage: 'Salmon Dream' x 'Pink Vanguard'. Has useable fertility, pollen and seed.
This is the earliest opening double flower peony we have introduced. And, for you hybridists, its parents, both presumed tetraploid, are two of our easiest seed producers of interspecies hybrids lineage, the cross being ('Salmon Dream' x 'Pink Vanguard'). Both parents are excellent garden ornamentals as well. We consider this peony to be the forerunner of a growing list of earlier opening doubled flower cultivars. In our 2008 flowering season, 'Kathy's Touch' flowered with 'Pink Vanguard' and ahead of nearby 'Red Charm' plants by five days. We expect the difference in timing will be as much or more in cooler climate regimes.
Seedling # 3036. Parentage: 'Salmon Dream' x 'Pink Vanguard'. First flowering notes were made 2001, first propagated 2001. SEMI-DOUBLE, sometimes FULL DOUBLE. The flower is typical of the SD class cultivars of the later opening Lactiflora Group, of two-stage anatomy (flower-in-flower form) and stamen segments exhibiting progressive transformation to petal-like form, the flower form rare at its season of blossoming. One bloom per stem, 6-inch size. Cupped petals are of light pink hue, RHS color standard 62A to 68B-C. The petal ends may be shallowly and irregularly notched, the guard petals generally rounded in outline. Petals tend to obscure the thin ring of pollen-bearing stamens between the two stages of the flower, stamens repeat at the center. Carpels are generally distorted, light green and topped by red-pink stigmas, carpels occasionally normal at which time they may produce seeds. Presumed tetraploid. Early to Early Midseason flowering, generally ahead of 'Red Charm'. The plant is vigorous, prolific of increase. Erect stems of medium height (average 32 inches) stand against wind and rain without mechanical support while in flower. Leaflets are green, broad pointed and persist well in heat and drought. There is little purplish pigment in the new shoots and stems, soon becoming clear green. Name honors Kathleen Roth, mother of Lucas Hudson, nursery operations manager at Hollingsworth Peony Nursery, and APS Director.