Golden Peony of the Caucasus.

The golden peony that I am talking about is of course Paeonia mlokosewitschii, which is a native of the Caucasus mountains in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Dagestan. It grows  there on rocky slopes in oak, hornbeam or beech forests, which makes me wonder why it is so happy in my bee and butterfly border in full sun?!  It was discovered in 1897 by polish botanist, Ludwik Mlokosiewicz and named by Aleksandr Lomakin. Over time it has aquired the name of Molly the Witch, by which it is now commonly known, although how a witch could be so beautiful is beyond me!   Even when it is just the foliage beginning to emerge, she is beautiful.


Paeony bud

The buds are soon formed and then the waiting game starts, when will they open, do you go away on holiday, or will it all be over by the time you get back!

Bud with raindrops

Even with the torrential rain that we have been having she is standing up well, just hope we don’t have another down pour once the flowers open or they will be finished before they have started!

Peony opening

Amazing what a bit of sunshine does, as soon as the sun shone on the front border, this bud started opening, hope it doesn’t regret it.


Another day and it is almost open, a bit more sun needed to encourage the petals to part.

Molly the witch

Open at last, such a beautiful flower, looks so delicate but tougher than we think.

Molly the witch

A lot more rain fell overnight, but sensible Molly closed the petals until next morning, so we are still able to enjoy her beautiful flower for a while to come. More heavy rain is forecast but we still have six more buds that are tightly closed at the moment, so I think we will be enjoying our golden peony of the Caucasus for a while yet.




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19 Responses to Golden Peony of the Caucasus.

  1. Noooooo… First Alberto and now you teasing me with this beauty. And I had it in my hands last week and put it back, thinking I would miss her flowers every year until we return from Barbados. Silly me, she would only be bigger and more beautiful by then (just like I will be, lol).

    • Pauline says:

      Oh Deborah, mine has taken about 5 yrs before it decided to flower profusely, rush back and get one! As you say it will be a lovely size by the time you are back in Canada permanently – love your last comment !!

  2. Alberto says:

    I’ve been waiting this post of yours, you know it! 🙂
    Your Molly looks beautiful, I guess mine needs some more food because the leaves are not so healthy like yours. Your flowers look even more intensely coloured, I guess it’s your climate. I’m looking forward to have a specimen like yours soon!

    • Pauline says:

      Couldn’t resist giving her a post to herself Alberto! I agree, maybe our flowers are a deeper yellow due to the lack of sunshine! Yours will soon grow, I had to wait a while for her to settle down and start flowering properly, it’s worth the wait!

  3. Christina says:

    She deserves a post of her own! Very beautiful. I was very hard hearted and just removed the peony which has done nothing in my garden for 4 years! I’ll just enjoy yours. Christina

    • Pauline says:

      I think they enjoy my heavy soil Christina, they always seem to take a few years before they start flowering freely, but then there is no stopping them!

  4. Beautiful. This peony is at the top of my list! Thanks for sharing yours!

    • Pauline says:

      She is lovely isn’t she Julie, definitely worth the wait to have her flowering, hope you will be able to provide her with a home in the future!

  5. wellywoman says:

    Such a beautiful plant, Pauline. The most lovely of colours. I do like peonies but lived in a house where there were some in the garden and we found that they were so short lived, getting damaged so quickly by rain and flopping all over that it put us off them. Maybe some varieties withstand weather better than others. They are such a quintessential cottage garden plant that I would love them in my own garden. I’m envious of that sunshine you’ve had there. I’m feeling incredibly sun deprived at the moment. Just come back from a walk to the polling station and the cloud base is so low it feels oppressive.

    • Pauline says:

      The sun didn’t last very long WW. just for one day and it was so warm too! Back to rain and cold once more, the peony flower didn’t open up today. I agree their flowers are short lived but most of them are so gorgeous and flamboyant, that they are forgiven!

  6. catmint says:

    it’s interesting, isn’t it, how some plants thrive in such diverse climates? This one is truly stunning and just goes to show that witches have got unfair PR throughout the ages. I do love that subtle pale greeny creamy colour.

    • Pauline says:

      When I first bought Molly, I planted her in the woodland, having read that originally it was found in a woodland situation. She didn’t thrive until I moved her into the sun, obviously our sunshine isn’t as hot as Caucasian woodland !!

  7. Have been thinking about this plant for a while. I need to find it.

  8. debsgarden says:

    So beautiful! I have never seen a golden peony. I was thinking just this morning about the peonies that were in my yard as a child. I dream of a row of them here against a white picket fence…

    • Pauline says:

      Really a primrose colour more than golden Deb, but very beautiful all the same. The single flowers are smaller than the doubles but now the plant is older, it is producing more of them. A row of peonies against your fence sounds stunning!

  9. Pauline, I was sold right from the picture of the foliage. Such a pretty peony!! It is going on my wish list!

    • Pauline says:

      It is a lovely one Liz, isn’t it. The foliage comes through very early and is the usual peony red, so the whole plant catches the eye for quite some time in all its stages. We have had so much heavy rain this last week, I’m amazed at how well it is coping, just closing its petals when it is so wet and cold, clever plant, thought it would be battered! Hope you find one!!

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