Pfingstrosen aus

Bad Rappenau

Irmtraud und Gottlob Rieck

© Bilder: Gottlob Rieck

Leo Fernig


Strauchpfingstrose. Sämling 3R13 offene Absaat von „Allegro“. Erste Blüte 2012. Einfach mit 2 Reihen Petalen. Eine hellrosa Blüte mit 20 cm Durchmesser pro Stiel. Schwarze Basalflecken. 5 weiße Karpelle leicht behaart. Weiße Narben. Pollentragende Staubgefäße. Staubfäden rosa am Grund und weiß an den Spitzen. Scheide rot. Duft. Blüte frühe bis mittlere Saison. Buschiges aufrechtes Wachstum 120 - 140 cm. Seit 2016 in Vermehrung bei Wolfgang Gießler Groß Rosenburg. Der Name Leo Fernig soll an den Gründer von SPIN (Species Peonies International Network) erinnern.

Leo Fernig

APS Bulletin June 2017 No. 382

Seedling 3R13. Parentage: Open pollinated seedling of 'Allegro'. First bloomed 2012. First propagated 2016. SINGLE with 2 rows of petals. One flower per stem, 20 cm (8") in size. Large soft pink petals, nicely cupped, 8 cm (3") in width. Black flares extend 30% of petal's length, with bleeding edges. Carpels white, moderately hairy, 5 in number. Stigmas white, normal anatomy. Pollen-bearing stamens, filaments pink at base, white at the tips. Sheath red, complete. Fragrance. Blooms early/mid-season. Typical Gansu Mudan foliage of good substance. Spreading upright growth habit to 100 cm (40"). Vigorous and healthy plant. To be propagated and distributed by W. Giessler, Groß Rosenburg, Germany.

Biography of Leo Fernig (1915-1999)

Leo Fernig was born in South Africa and became a teacher. During WWII he fought with the Allies in North Africa. After the war he worked in London as an editor for the Oxford Press. In 1948  he moved to Paris and began work in the Education Section of UNESCO, which he then led. It is here he met his wife, Selina. In 1970 he moved to Geneva to become Director of the International Bureau of Education, moving back to Paris for one year in 1975 to become assistant Director General of UNESCO, before his retirement in 1976. He was a keen gardener and in the course of his travels 

he visited many botanical gardens in his spare time.

Being fluent in several languages, after retirement Leo corresponded with other plantsmen with a specific interest in species peonies. In 1986 he founded SPIN (Species Peonies International Network), with a handful of friends, mainly from Europe.

At its peak SPIN had about 60 members in Europe, America, Asia and Australia. Three to four times a year, Leo issued a newsletter, collating the most interesting information from the members. He received wild collected seeds from members and distributed them to all the others. 

Leo was especially interested in botanical literature and had access to the Botanical Garden Library of Geneva. It was there that he found a publication from Georgia, Europe, in Georgian, which was one of only three copies worldwide. He managed to get this publication of Kemularia-Nathadze translated from Georgiean into English and shared copies of this important paper. He never confessed his costs to me, when I wanted to pay my part.

Leo was the opposite of a showman, he was modest and maybe a little shy. He would never state anything about his many accolades. Only accidentally did we learn that he had received one of the highest Britsh honors, Commander of the British Empire.

We lost Leo in 1999 due to an accident. It was and still is a great loss for us. Leo was survived by his wife Selina, (deceased in 2016) and two sons, Leo and David, and their families. It is our deep wish to honor Leo Fernig in dedicating a peony named ’Leo Fernig’ for all that he did in studying and promoting species peonies.