2011 Gold Medal Award, American Peony Society
Don Hollingsworth, APS Director — Maryville, Missouri
Peony 'Amalia Olson' has been named 2011 Gold Medal Award winner and 2012 Peony of the Year by the American Peony Society. The award was announced by Dana Tretheway, President, following the Society’s annual convention.
The Gold Medal award is made available to one peony cultivar per year. Selection is based upon grower observation and experience of its excellence and performance across the peony growing areas of North America. Cultivars which attain this award typically have been in commerce for multiple decades as is necessary for their record to become widely recognized. 'Amalia Olson' is no exception, registration of the name dates to 1959.
Previous to the name being established, this peony was twice awarded the distinction of best seedling peony of the annual exhibitions, 1953 and 1958. In 1959 it was awarded the American Home Magazine Achievement Medal for the best and most distinctive new peony shown. That was for a flower specimen. Subsequently, its reputation for performance in the garden has underscored the all-over excellence of Peony 'Amalia Olson'.
The registration description (American Peony Society Bulletin No. 155, pp 20-21; December 1959) includes these words of description, “This pure white, full double flower of medium to large size is carried on strong stems of medium height, well supplied with dark green foliage. Its petals overlap and are symmetrically arranged in a slightly domed flower of great beauty and charm. It has excellent substance and lasts well when cut. It often has faint red markings on the reverse of the guard petals, which never show on the inside, making it one of the purest white peonies we have”. This description holds up well in modern experience. It should be noted, however, a blush of pale pink may be seen upon first opening when the flower buds develop during a cool spring warm-up.