The Wonderful World of Intersectional Peonies

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Reverse Cross Hybrids


The intersectional cross can also be made in the reverse direction (i.e., tree peony x herbaceous), although the reciprocal cross is much more difficult.  Below are photos of two very rare reciprocal cross intersectional hybrids. Currently there are less than 5 such hybrids in existence worldwide. The first was produced from the cross (Age of Gold x Martha W.).  As with many of the intersectional hybrids, the color of the opening flowers (top photo) is very different from that of the mature flowers (second photo). The second is from the cross (tree peony, suffruticosa var. Stolen Heaven x Martha W.)

Intersectional Hybrid Seedling # RC-95-01
Reverse cross intersectional hybrid, R2P1


Intersectional Hybrid Seedling # RC-95-01
R2P1, Now named Reverse Magic

R4P22, now named Impossible Dream
Reverse Cross Intersectional Hybrid, RC-96-02 (R4P22)

Impossible Dream

Many more photos of Impossible Dream can be found at Yellow Peonies and More.  Go there by clicking on the link below.


The reciprocal intersectional cross is exceedingly difficult.  Consequently, only a handful of such hybrids are currently in existence.  Surprisingly, this cross gives an abundance of seed.  Unfortunately, only a very small percentage (< 1%) of these seeds are viable.  The two reverse cross hybrids (RC-95-01 & RC-96-02) shown above are the only such plants that have survived and grown for me.  RC-95-01 is from the cross (Age of Gold x Martha W.).  This variety has been registered under the name Reverse Magic. RC-96-02 is from (Stolen Heaven x Martha W.). It is unique because it contains chromosomes from only two species, suffruticosa and lactiflora, instead of the three species mix which makes up the normal intersectional hybrids (delavayii, suffruticosa and lactiflora). This variety was registered in 2004 under the name Impossible Dream.

Reverse Cross Foliage

More RC-95-01

Comparison with Tree Peonies and Other Intersectional Hybrids