Seed Exchange – échange de graines

Canadian Peony Society 2017-2018 Seed Exchange

Hello Peony Friends,
Our 2017/2018 Seed Exchange is now open!

John Moons has taken over the coordination of the CPS Seed Exchange from Bill Wegman. Bill has retired from the seed exchange and we are very grateful that he did the job for so many years. A BIG THANK YOU TO BILL.

This year we received seed from 12 donors and we would like to thank them all.

Our generous American friend, Gregory Rockwell sent us almost 800 seeds of Chinese and Japanese tree peonies from Granger, Indiana. Twenty minutes south of Brantford is a privately-owned botanical garden called Whistling Gardens. The owners, Darren and Wanda Heimbecker, have the largest peony collection in North America with about 1,000 varieties. The Heimbeckers were kind enough to let John pick their peony seeds and he spent 12 afternoons collecting thousands of seeds.

For 2018 we have 100 more species, hybrids, cultivars and crossings available than last year!

We have over 300 different peonies and more than 16,000 saleable seeds, so for some varieties of seeds we can be more generous. The number of seeds in each packet depends on how many seeds were collected from that plant.

There are a few selections with only with one or two seeds. Varieties with an * means that we have a limited supply. Up to March 15 you can only order one packet of those peonies. If you are interested in more, contact John after March 15 to see if there is more available.

For the first month of the listing you will be limited to a maximum of 3 packets of each individual item.

Non-members may order from the list, but where quantities are scarce, members’ orders will have priority.


Send your list (please write both the item number, the name and quantity) of requested seeds to:

Canadian Peony Society Seeds c/o John Moons
34 Langford Church Road
Brantford, ON N3T 5L4

Please list a few alternatives for each choice especially where supply is limited.

If you would like instructions on germinating peony seed, please ask we will send it with your seeds. You may certainly order more than one packet (but there will be a limit of 3 of each item except those shown with an asterisk, for the first month of the listing).

Please enclose a cheque or money order (in Canadian funds) payable to the Canadian Peony Society. Do not send cash through the mail. We will also accept payment in the form of Canadian postage stamps. Payment can also be made by Paypal or email funds transfer to

Remember to include your mailing address with your order, or a mailing label if you have one.

The cost is $2.00 per seed packet plus a shipping charge of $2.00 for every 5 packets shipped out.

For example:
5 packets: $10 + $2 = $12;
6 packets: $12 + $4 = $16;
10 packets: $20 + $4 = $24;
11 packets: $22 + $6 = $28

If you need peony seed for your peony group or garden club, contact John to make special arrangements.

One a final note, John’s wife, Joan, collects stamps. Do her a favour and send some nice ones.

Good luck with your selections.

Please note: Shipment is normally by order of arrival of your letter/email with payment. However, for the first 10 days from release of this seed list, we will hold all shipments and select by lottery where demand exceeds supply. This will provide fairness to those living in distant or rural areas.

The exchange will close May 1, 2018.

Questions: Email John Moons at

Société Canadienne de la Pivoine : échange de graines 2017-2018

Bonjour amis des pivoines,

John Moons a remplacé Bill Wegman à la coordination de l’échange de graines à la Société canadienne de la pivoine. Bill a pris sa retraite de l’échange de graines et nous lui sommes très reconnaissants pour le travail effectué pendant de nombreuses années. UN GROS MERCI À TOI BILL.

Cette année, nous avons reçu des graines de 12 donneurs et nous aimerions les remercier tous.

Notre généreux ami américain, Gregory Rockwell nous a envoyé presque 800 graines de pivoines arbustives de Chine et du Japon en provenance de Granger, Indiana. À 20 minutes au sud de Brantford se trouve un jardin botanique privé nommé Whistling Gardens. Les propriétaires, Darren et Wanda Heimbecker, ont la plus grosse collection de pivoines en Amérique du Nord avec environ 1 000 variétés. Ils ont aussi une grande collection de lis et autres plantes incluant plus de 2 500 conifères. Les Heimbecker ont eu la gentillesse de me laisser récolter leurs graines de pivoines. J’y ai passé 12 après-midis à ramasser des milliers de graines.

Pour 2018, nous avons plus de 100 espèces, hybrides, cultivars et croisements de plus que l’an dernier.

Nous avons plus de 300 différentes pivoines et plus de 16 000 graines de sorte que pour certaines pivoines, nous pouvons être plus généreux. Le nombre de graines que je place dans un paquet dépend du nombre de graines qui furent récoltées pour cette plante.

Pour quelques-unes, il y a seulement une ou deux graines. Lorsqu’une variété a une *, ça signifie qu’elle est en quantité limitée. Jusqu’au 15 mars, vous ne pouvez commander qu’un seul paquet de ces pivoines. Si vous êtes intéressé, contactez John le 15 mars afin de vérifier si c’est encore disponible.

Pour le premier mois où l’inventaire sera disponible, vous serez limités à un maximum de 3 paquets de chaque sorte.

Les non-membres peuvent commander à partir de la liste mais là où la quantité est limitée, les commandes des membres auront la priorité.

Pour commander

Envoyer votre liste (s.v.p. avec le nom et le numéro) des graines désirées à :

Canadian Peony Society Seeds c/o John Moons
34 Langford Church Road
Brantford, ON
N3T 5L4

S.v.p. donnez quelques alternatives pour chacun des choix spécialement lorsque leur quantité est limitée.

Si vous avez besoin d’instructions pour la germination des graines de pivoines, mentionnez-le-moi et nous vous les enverrons avec votre commande.Vous pouvez commander plus d’un paquet (mais il y aura une limite de 3 pour chaque sorte sauf pour celles ayant un astérisque, pendant le premier mois).

S.v.p. incluez un chèque ou un mandat en dollars canadiens payable à la Société Canadienne de la Pivoine. N’envoyez pas d’argent par la poste. Nous allons aussi accepter des paiements sous la forme de timbres de Poste Canada. Les paiements peuvent aussi être faits par Paypal ou un courriel de transfert de fond à

N’oubliez pas d’inclure votre adresse postale ou un collant avec votre adresse si vous en avez.

Le coût est de 2,00$ par paquet de graines plus des frais d’envoi de 2,00$ pour chaque 5 paquets.

Exemple :
5 paquets : 10$ + 2$ = 12$ ;
6 paquets : 12$ + 4$ = 16$ ;
10 paquets : 20$ + 4$ = 24$ ;
11 paquets : 22$ + 6$ = 28$

Si vous avez besoin de graines pour votre groupe ou votre club de jardinage, contactez John pour faire un arrangement spécial.

Petite note spéciale : l’épouse de John, Joan, collectionne les timbres. Faites-lui une faveur en utilisant de beaux timbres.

Bonne chance avec vos choix!

S.v.p. prenez note : les envois se font habituellement selon l’ordre d’arrivée de votre commande avec paiement. Toutefois, pour les premiers dix jours pendant lesquels la liste sera disponible, nous allons retenir les envois et les sélectionner par tirage au sort pour les cas où la demande excède la disponibilité. Cela va permettre une certaine équité pour ceux qui vivent loin ou dans des zones rurales.

L’échange va se terminer le 1 mai 2018.

Pour des questions, envoyez un courriel à John:

How to Save Your Seeds

The Seed Exchange Program is interested in receiving seeds of both common and uncommon peonies. Before you dead-head your plants consider letting a few go to seed. It is desirable to know the name of the plant from which the seed is collected, so kindly keep track of this information. Where the name of the plant is unknown, a brief description is useful. Carpels (seed pods) should be left on the plant to ripen at least to the point where the pod starts to split. When the carpels are nearly fully open, collect the seed. Place seed in an open paper (not plastic) container, such as an envelope or small bag, to dry for a week or so. If you don’t do this, the seed may get moldy after being wrapped for mailing. Lastly, place seed into small labeled envelopes and seal. If possible wrap envelopes in bubble wrap before placing in mailing.

Peony Seeds by R. Jakubowski

Peonies are heterozygous and do not come true from seeds. Named cultivars must be propagated vegetatively to retain their cultivar name.

Seeds collected from species plants have an inherent variability within the population and not all are exactly alike, even in nature. Be aware that species plants grown in the garden are subject to cross pollination with other peonies that may be in bloom at the same time, but otherwise, plants grown from species seeds remain species plants.

Peony seeds can be started indoors, but it’s a rather involved process and it has to be started in the fall to get the timing right for planting sprouted seedlings in the spring.

By late winter it is much better to delay starting peony seeds until mid-June, perhaps as late as mid-July.  The reason for this is that peony seeds have a stepped approach to germination which has evolved to maximize sprouted seeds emerging in the spring when they have the best chance for survival. Seeds need a lengthy warm moist period after which the root starts to grow with the onset of cooler fall weather. The cold of winter is needed to break down barriers which otherwise prevent initiation of shoot growth. This sequence of environmental factors must occur in that order or the seeds will not grow.

  1. In mid-June to mid-July soak the seeds in water for up to four days. Seeds which sink are considered sound and should germinate for you. Seeds which never sink are usually hollow, and not viable.
  2. Plant out in garden, or in a cold frame, 1 inch deep, 4 to 6 inches apart.
  3. Water to dampen the soil, and avoid letting it dry out, but don’t keep it constantly wet either.
  4. It is best to cover the seeded area to conserve moisture, to mark the spot, and to protect against animals digging them up. They won’t show above ground growth until the following spring, so covering won’t bother them. Use a board or flat rock or something similar.
  5. Remember to remove covering as early as you can in the spring.

 Blooms will not appear for several years. First blooms of peony seedlings are often different from those that will develop as the plant matures. Don’t judge too quickly! Some seedlings may resemble their parents, but they are not identical. New peonies can be registered with the American Peony Society. For more information on registration email

How to Germinate Peony Seeds Indoors

Collect seeds as pods begin to open. The harder the outer shell the longer the first dormancy period.

Wash the seeds in soapy water, followed by a ten minute soak in a solution of 9 parts water to 1 part household bleach. Rinse.

For seeds that have been stored, soak in clean water from one to four days. Change water at least daily. Seeds that remain floating are considered hollow, or otherwise incomplete, and unlikely to germinate. Seeds that sink to the bottom should be okay. Use these as you continue with the next step.

Place seeds in sealed plastic bag with barely moist vermiculite or peat moss.

Place sealed bag in a warm area of the house(not in sun), check them every week to see if the root has emerged, and ensure they remain moist (but not wet!)

Leave them in the warmth until the roots appear (anywhere from a few weeks to several months).

Once roots appear and are about 3cm in length, move the bag to a cool location. Temperature should be approximately 4 degrees C. (An old refrigerator is fine)

After 12 weeks, remove the bag and pot up the partially germinated seeds in a soil-less germination mix.

Depending on the time of year, you may have to place seedlings under grow lights for a few months before being able to transfer outside.

Keep seedlings under grow lights and ensure they are moist but not soggy.

Apply a balanced liquid fertilizer every few weeks.

Transfer outside slowly as you would any other tender seedling. Too much sun, too rapidly, will result in burnt foliage.

Seedlings should be outside in a sunny well-drained seedbed by September at the latest.

Who We Are

We are a Society dedicated to the growth and development of Peonies. We are always looking for new members and enthusiasts to join the Society, so join us and come and share your passion!

Recent Updates

Are you attending the next Peony Show in 2017? See our What's Coming Up Section for the next Peony Show in your area! Follow our Blog for the latest info on what the Peony Society is up to.

Contact Info

Canadian Peony Society
424 Godolphin Rd.
Warkworth, ON K0K 3K0