Bred by renowned peony breeder Roger F. Anderson of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, owner of Callie's Beaux Jardins (est. 1978); 'Bartzella' was introduced/registered in 1986. Anderson, a self-taught peony breeder, is most known for his collection of intersectional hybrids (known as Itoh Peonies) and has been recognized for the development of several hundred peony hybrids. First hybridized by Toihi Itoh in 1948, the Itoh Peonies are a cross between woody tree peonies and herbaceous peonies; these exceptional intersectional hybrids offer the best of both parents: enormous flowers and foliage like that of a tree peony, with a prolific blooming habit, vigorous growth and stronger stems that hold up the large blooms without staking. Featuring a lush, substantial form during the growing season, the stems die back in the fall and must be cut back just as with the herbaceous peonies.
In 2012, the Hoard Historical Museum of Fort Atkinson in Jefferson County, Wisconsin dedicated the Roger F. and Sandra L. Anderson Peony Garden in honor of Roger's extensive work in peony hybridization. The garden contains a sizable number of Roger's peony cultivars (along with other plants donated by the Andersons) and purportedly holds the honor of featuring North America's largest public intersectional peony collection, as of 2012. Perhaps one of Roger's most recognized cultivars is 'Bartzella', with a remarkable and essentially perfect yellow bloom with a classic spicy fragrance.