33+ Different Types of Peonies (and Peony Classifications) - PlantSnap

33+ Different Types of Peonies (and Peony Classifications)

by | Dec 9, 2020

Peonies are a tried-and-true favorite of gardeners in temperate areas around the globe. They make bright, good-smelling, large flowers that hold up well in vases. What’s not to love? Peonies are so lovely that many people even choose them as wedding flowers. They are among the few kinds of flowers with their own societies, like roses and irises. These low-maintenance plants are a great option for any gardener looking for a long-term, botanical companion.

 

What Is a Peony?

 

While formerly included in the Ranunculaceae family, the plant family that includes larkspur, columbine, and buttercups, peonies have recently been moved to their own family, Paeoniaceae. There are 33 recognized species of peonies throughout the world and countless horticultural cultivars. 

 

Botanically, peonies are herbaceous perennials or small, woody shrubs. Their leaves alternate along the stem of the plant and are deeply divided into many lobes. Often, the number of lobes is a way to distinguish between peony species. Peony flowers naturally have five to ten petals, however horticultural varieties can have many more than that. The flowers are pink, red, brown, white or yellow. A distinctive feature of peonies are their abundant number of yellow stamens in the center of the flower. The flowers have both male and female organs, and when the female eggs mature into seeds, they make a berry called an aril. The aril you are probably most familiar with is the pomegranate seed. 

 

types of peonies

A peony plant in full bloom.

 

Cultivation of Different Types of Peonies

 

Peonies are one of the oldest known cultivated flowers, tended to by humans for at least 4,000 years. Their medicinal properties, wonderful smells, ease of care, and bodacious flowers are likely some of the main reasons these plants have remained relevant for so long.  

 

In the four millennia humans have grown these peonies, they’ve discovered wonderful mutations and hybrids that are common in garden peonies today. Some of that variety gets displayed in the different flower forms. Most wild species of peonies are simply ‘single’ bloom types, with five or ten petals surrounding the center. Plant breeders, however, have created a staggering amount of flower types within the peony family. These flower shapes go by fun names like ‘semi-double’, ‘anemone,’ ‘full-double,’ ‘bomb,’ and ‘chrysanthemum.’ 

 

One difficulty with peonies is that a single plant typically only has a bloom season of 1-2 weeks. To offset this short flowering season, horticulturalists bred plants for different bloom times. In the nursery, you will see peonies labeled with ‘early-season,’ ‘mid-season,’ and ‘late-season.’ When planted together, these three types of peonies will bring a garden bright blooms throughout spring and into early summer. 

 

Peony garden

A peony garden with different cultivars of peonies blooming simultaneously.

 

Where Do Peonies Grow Naturally?

 

Peonies are native throughout the northern hemisphere. The Mediterranean (broadly defined, including all of Turkey into the Caucasus Mountains) contains the highest number of native peony species. In the Mediterranean, peonies tend to grow in shrubby, chaparral-type ecosystems and sometimes on the lower slopes of mountains.

 

Northern Asia, specifically China, is the second epicenter of peony diversity. In Asia, they tend to grow midway up mountains, either in grassy areas or in open forests. All of the woody, tree (really, they are more like small to mid-sized shrubs) species of peonies grow in southwestern China and Tibet. North America has only two of the 33 named peony species, one of which grows exclusively in California and the other throughout the western U.S. in mountainous places. 

 

Peony Conservation

 

In the wild, several peonies are threatened with extinction due to over-harvesting by collectors and their naturally small habitat areas. For example, species such as the Majorcan peony only grow on the northern part of the small island of Majorca. Other species have similarly small habitat distributions, which makes them vulnerable to climate change and pressures from human development and land use. 

 

That being said, the peonies you find at the nursery are horticultural varieties, not natural species. Plant lovers like to hybridize peonies for specific traits, such as bloom shape, flowering season, and petal color. While this guide mainly focuses on the 33 natural species of peonies, it touches on a few of the horticultural favorites. 

 

pink peonies

An example of a double-bloom type of peony flower.

 

How Do I Grow Peonies in My Garden?

 

Most peony varieties and species require similar conditions to thrive. First, plant your peonies in the fall. The best way to start peonies is to buy peony roots, which are sold with the bulbs in most nurseries. Plant them beneath a few inches of soil. You can also buy peonies in containers. While it may be tempting to buy these container plants from the nursery while they are in full bloom, it’s best to wait until the fall during their dormancy to buy and transplant container peonies into the ground.  

 

But before you put that root or container plant in the soil, spend some thoughtful time considering the sunlight, soil, wind protection, and future uses of the area you plan to plant. Peonies despise being transplanted, so you want to choose a spot favorable to their growth on the first try.

 

Soil 

 

Peonies do best in rich, deep soil that is high in organic matter. The soil must drain well because peonies will die if their roots stay soggy for too long. This means you shouldn’t plant peonies in a depression in the landscape that frequently gets inundated with water. When planting, amend the soil with a generous amount of compost and a little fertilizer. 

 

Sun

 

Almost all peonies, as well as most cut flowers, perform best in full sun. However, most peonies will still bloom if they get more than a half-day of sun throughout the growing season. If planted Your peony probably won’t make blooms if you plant it in full shade. 

 

If you’re planting in the fall, remember that the angle of the sun will be higher in the sky during springs and summer, when the peonies are actively growing. That means that an area that might be shady in October or November may actually be suitable peony habitat in the summer.

 

types of peonies

 

Shelter

 

What’s the reason you’re planting peonies? For those spectacular blooms, of course. Unfortunately, these heavy blooms can cause even sturdy stems to snap during wind storms. To prevent this unnecessary trauma to your plants, choose a place that is sheltered from spring and summer winds. If your plant looks weighed down, staking is always an option. Tomato cages, sticks, or wood stakes all work to add structural support for your plants. 

 

Most peonies grow well throughout the U.S. between USDA hardiness zones 3-8. They can tolerate long, cold winters. 

 

Future Uses of Your Garden

 

Gardens are dynamic places. Most gardeners like to experiment with different plants and switch the garden up every year. Peonies are long-lived perennials, with some individuals reportedly living up to 100 years. Once planted, peonies usually take two or three years to begin producing solid flower displays. Since they don’t transplant well and they are long-lived, the place you initially choose for your peony should be the place you want peonies for decades to come. Choose wisely!

 

Once your peonies establish, they require little care or maintenance and will produce sweet-smelling, brilliant blooms for decades to come. 

 

Pink Peonies

 

The majority of peony species have naturally pink blooms. Even some of the white, yellow, or red species of peonies occasionally turn out with pink flowers. 

 

Algerian Peony – Paeonia algeriensis

 

This peony only grows in a region called Kabylie in northern Algeria. In its native habitat, this peony grows under mixed conifer or mixed deciduous forests in the mountains. This peony isn’t cultivated as a horticultural plant. 

 

Algerian Peony Bloom Type

 

Single bloom.

 

Algerian Peony Flower Color

 

Magenta pink to red petals.

 

Algerian Peony Sun Requirements

 

Full sun to part shade

 

Algerian Peony Water Requirements

 

Will tolerate some drought.

 

Algerian Peony Growing Zones

 

Unknown

 

Siberia Maryin koren (Latin Paeonia anomala)

Anomaly peony growing wild in Russia.

 

Anomaly Peony – Paeonia anomala

 

This peony, a native of Mongolia and Russia, was named by the father of binomial classification himself, Carl Linnaeus. The extracts of anomaly peony fruits are antioxidants.

 

Anomaly Peony Bloom Type

 

Single blooms with some double bloom cultivars available. 

 

Anomaly Peony Flower Color

 

Hot pink. 

 

Anomaly Peony Sun Requirements

 

Full sun or part shade.

 

Anomaly Peony Water Requirements

 

Prefers moderately moist soil. Not too wet nor not too dry. 

 

Anomaly Peony Growing Zones

 

Hardy to USDA growing zone 4. 

 

Paeonia areitina

 

This widely spread peony grows throughout most of eastern Europe, from 1000 to 6000 feet in elevation. 

 

Paeonia areitina Bloom Type

 

Single bloom. 

 

Paeonia areitina Flower Color

 

Hot pink. 

 

Paeonia areitina Sun Requirements

 

Full sun to part shade.

 

Paeonia areitina Water Requirements

 

Does well in moist soils. Will tolerate some drought. 

 

Paeonia areitina Growing Zones

 

Hardy to USDA growing zone 6b. 

 

Paeonia broteri

 

This peony is closely related to Paeonia clusii and is native to the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal). It doesn’t grow very well in gardens and is one of the least cold-hardy peony species. 

 

Paeonia broteri Bloom Type

 

Single bloom.

 

Paeonia broteri Flower Color

 

Bubble gum pink. 

 

Paeonia broteri Sun Requirements

 

Full sun to part shade.

 

Paeonia broteri Water Requirements

 

Moderate water.

 

Paeonia broteri Growing Zones

 

Hardy to USDA growing zone 8a. 

 

Majorcan Peony - Paeonia cambessedesii

 

Majorcan Peony – Paeonia cambessedesii

 

This peony is restricted to the north of Majorca, a Mediterranean island, where it is considered endangered. However, as a cultivar, it is an easily grown garden beauty. The Majorcan peony totes leaves with purple undersides, adding dynamic foliage as well as stunning pink flowers to a garden. 

 

Majorcan Peony Bloom Type

 

Single bloom. 

 

Majorcan Peony Flower Color

 

Varied shades of pink. 

 

Majorcan Peony Sun Requirements

 

Full sun to part shade.

 

Majorcan Peony Water Requirements

 

Needs moisture but doesn’t tolerate wet feet. 

 

Majorcan Peony Growing Zones

 

Hardy to USDA growing zone 7a. 

 

Corsican Peony

 

Corsican Peony – Paeonia corsica

 

The Corsican peony is native to islands off the coast of France, Italy, and Greece. It has leaves with 9-20 leaflets and is rare in its native habitat. This species has frequently been mistaken for other peony species, such as Paeonia macula and Paeonia cambessedesii. 

 

Corsican Peony Bloom Type

 

Single blooms. 

 

Corsican Peony Flower Color

 

Bright, bubble gum pink flowers. 

 

Corsican Peony Sun Requirements

 

Full sun.

 

Corsican Peony Water Requirements

 

Well-drained soil with moderate water needs. 

 

Corsican Peony Growing Zones

 

Hardy to growing zone 4b. 

 

Keserwan Peony – Paeonia kesrouanensis

 

This peony is difficult for growers to get their hands on. It is native to southern Turkey and Syria, a region that has experienced significant unrest over the last decade, preventing bioprospectors from obtaining seeds from the plant. 

 

Keserwan Peony Bloom Type

 

Single bloom.

 

Keserwan Peony Flower Color

 

The petals have a deep magenta stripe in the middle that transitions to light pink near the outside. 

 

Keserwan Peony Sun Requirements

 

Enjoys full sun. 

 

Keserwan Peony Water Requirements

 

Moderate water.

 

Keserwan Peony Growing Zones

 

Unknown. 

 

Chinese Peony “Bowl of Beauty”

It’s easy to see why this peony is called a bowl of beauty!

 

Chinese Peony “Bowl of Beauty” – Paeonia lactiflora

 

This peony is a favorite among gardeners for its strong flower stalks and longevity as a cut flower. Bloom in the mid to late summer, this peony has huge blooms that brighten up any garden. 

 

Chinese Peony Bloom Type

 

Anemone bloom. 

 

Chinese Peony Flower Color

 

Pink outer petals with yellow to white inner petals. 

 

Chinese Peony Sun Requirements

 

Full sun to part shade.

 

Chinese Peony Water Requirements

 

Medium moisture in well-drained soils.

 

Chinese Peony Growing Zones

 

Hardy to USDA growing zone 3. 

 

Paeonia mairei

 

This peony prefers a little more shade than most species. It does well in woodlands, where it forms a full, low shrubby shape. The foliage has deep venation, giving this plant an intriguing appearance after it has finished flowering. 

 

Paeonia mairei Bloom Type

 

Single bloom.

 

Paeonia mairei Flower Color

 

Light pink. 

 

Paeonia mairei Sun Requirements

 

Part shade.

 

Paeonia mairei Water Requirements

 

Likes regular moisture but doesn’t tolerate too much water. 

 

Paeonia mairei Growing Zones

 

Hardy to USDA growing zone 4. 

 

Coral Peony - Paeonia mascula

 

Coral Peony – Paeonia mascula

 

Native to the Mediterranean and the Middle East, this small peony only flowers for one week each year. Interestingly, some individuals have naturalized in the British Isles, a much more dreary place than their native homes. 

 

Coral Peony Bloom Type

 

Single bloom.

 

Coral Peony Flower Color

 

Magenta pink.

 

Coral Peony Sun Requirements

 

Full sun.

 

Coral Peony Water Requirements

 

Requires regular watering.

 

Coral Peony Growing Zones

 

Hardy to USDA growing zone 7a.

 

Veitch’s Peony - Paeonia veitchii

A magenta flower from a Veitch’s peony.

 

Veitch’s Peony – Paeonia veitchii

 

This peony is one of the only species that will flower and thrive in full shade, which is interesting since it is native to the sunny, mountainous grasslands of China. Veitch’s peony is relatively low growing. 

 

Veitch’s Peony Bloom Type

 

Single bloom.

 

Veitch’s Peony Flower Color

 

Usually solid pink. Some cultivars have a white stripe in the middle of each petal. 

 

Veitch’s Peony Sun Requirements

 

Full sun to full shade. 

 

Veitch’s Peony Water Requirements

 

Prefers moist, but not soggy, soil. 

 

Veitch’s Peony Growing Zones

 

Hardy to USDA growing zone 8. 

 

Qiui’s Peony – Paeonia qiui

 

This peony was recently discovered and it is the most endangered within the peony family. It is currently known to exist in only four locations in China, three of which are on cliffs. Due to its rarity, it is unlikely that home gardeners will get their hands on this unusual plant. Qiui’s peony is one of the few species of woody peony, meaning it is a shrub that doesn’t die back to the roots each year.

 

Qiui’s Peony Bloom Type

 

Lotus bloom. 

 

Qiui’s Peony Flower Color

 

The petals can either be entirely neon magenta or white with a magenta stripe in the middle. 

 

Qiui’s Peony Sun Requirements

 

Probably part shade.

 

Qiui’s Peony Water Requirements

 

Unknown

 

Qiui’s Peony Growing Zones

 

Unknown. 

 

White Peonies

 

White Peonies

 

White peonies are classy, simple, and elegant. These bloomers sometimes have splashes of red or pink in their petals, which adds some flair to these already interesting plants. 

 

Clusius’s Peony – Paeonia clusii

 

This species most commonly grows in a Mediterranean chaparral-type habitat on a few islands off the coast of Greece in calcareous soils. Unlike most peonies, the entire plant lacks hairs. This peony grows lower to the ground than most species.

 

Clusius’s Peony Bloom Type

 

Single bloom.

 

Clusius’s Peony Flower Color

 

White petals. The stamen in the middle of the flower can have a reddish tint to it. Some cultivars have pink petals. 

 

Clusius’s Peony Sun Requirements

 

Full sun to part shade.

 

Clusius’s Peony Water Requirements

 

Can tolerate some drought but does best in rich, consistently moist but well-drained soils. 

 

Clusius’s Peony Growing Zones

 

Unknown.

 

Himalayan peony (Paeonia emodi)

A Himalayan peony in flower.

 

Himalayan Peony – Paeonia emodi

 

Just like the mountains, it is named after, this plant is one of the tallest peonies. People use this plant for various medical ailments, such as heart disease, asthma, and diarrhea. The popular cultivar of Paeonia emodi is ‘White Innocence’, a tall, white peony used by gardeners. 

 

Himalayan Peony Bloom Type

 

Single bloom

 

Himalayan Peony Flower Color

 

Pure white. 

 

Himalayan Peony Sun Requirements

 

Full sun to part shade. 

 

Himalayan Peony Water Requirements

 

Moist soils. Can tolerate a variety of soil types.

 

Himalayan Peony Growing Zones

 

Hardy to USDA growing zone 7. 

 

Paeonia sterniana

 

This Tibetan peony species is rare in cultivation. Not much is known about this kind of peony. 

 

Paeonia sterniana Bloom Type

 

Single blooms. 

 

Paeonia sterniana Flower Color

 

White flowers.

 

Paeonia sterniana Sun Requirements

 

Full sun to part shade.

 

Paeonia sterniana Water Requirements

 

Moderate water.

 

Paeonia sterniana Growing Zones

 

Unknown

 

Osti’s Peony - Paeonia ostii

How many flowers can a single plant have? This Osti’s peony is in super bloom!

 

Osti’s Peony – Paeonia ostii

 

This peony is a woody tree peony that can grow up to nine feet tall. It is best grown as a hedge. Osti’s peony performs best outside of mild climates. It prefers to have a prolonged colder winter. Being a long-lived plant, these peonies typically take years to establish. 

 

Osti’s Peony Bloom Type

 

Usually single blooms. Some cultivars have chrysanthemum blooms. 

 

Osti’s Peony Flower Color

 

White petals with a yellow and red center. 

 

Osti’s Peony Sun Requirements

 

Full sun to part shade.

 

Osti’s Peony Water Requirements

 

Moist soils, but not water-logged.

 

Osti’s Peony Growing Zones

 

Hardy to USDA growing zone 6. 

 

Rock’s Peony – Paeonia rockii

 

This tree peony likes colder climates and is a true beauty! When crossed with Paeonia suffruticosa, hybrids make for spectacular garden additions. These peonies can reportedly handle -35F temperatures. Sometimes, their flower patterns almost resemble the tropical hibiscus!

 

Rock’s Peony Bloom Type

 

Lotus bloom. 

 

Rock’s Peony Flower Color

 

Petals are white with purple dots near the center. Some hybrid varieties have pink petals. 

 

Rock’s Peony Sun Requirements

 

Full sun to part shade.

 

Rock’s Peony Water Requirements

 

Prefers moist soil. Doesn’t tolerate drought very well. 

 

Rock’s Peony Growing Zones

 

Hardy to USDA growing zone 3. 

 

Krinkled white peonies

 

Krinkled White Peony – Paeonia lactiflora

 

This favorite peony provides vigorous flowers that stay fresh up to a week after being cut. The foliage of krinkled white peony provides some nice fall colors, too. These plants work great for borders.

 

Krinkled White Peony Bloom Type

 

Lotus bloom. 

 

Krinkled White Flower Color

 

White flowers with a yellow center. 

 

Krinkled White Sun Requirements

 

Full sun to partial shade. 

 

Krinkled White Water Requirements

 

Needs consistently moist soil. 

 

Krinkled White Growing Zones

 

Hardy to USDA growing zone 3

 

Herbaceous Peonies 'Festiva Maxima'

The large, double blooms of the ‘Festiva Maxima’ peony.

 

Festiva Maxima Peony – Paeonia lactiflora

 

A favorite for over 150 years, the Festiva Maxima peony has stood the test of time. This is one of the best double peonies for gardeners looking for big blooms. The flowers can reach seven inches wide and smell delightful. 

 

Festiva Maxima Peony Bloom Type

 

Double flowers, anemone bloom. 

 

Festiva Maxima Flower Color

 

White petals with some red in the middle. 

 

Festiva Maxima Sun Requirements

 

Full sun to part shade.

 

Festiva Maxima Water Requirements

 

Prefers regular watering in well-drained, rich soils. 

 

Festiva Maxima Growing Zones

 

Hardy to USDA growing zone 3a

Red Peonies

 

Red peonies are one of the more rare peony colors in the wild, even if they are common horticulturally. Some of the double-bloom and semi-double flowers of red peonies are occasionally mistaken for roses! 

 

California Peony (Paeonia californica)

A close-up of a California peony bloom.

 

California Peony – Paeonia californica

 

This peony is one of two species native to North America. It only grows near the ocean in the chaparral habitats of southern California. It is relatively common in its habitat, yet gardeners have trouble getting the plant to establish outside of wild settings. 

 

California Peony Bloom Type

 

Compact single bloom.

 

California Peony Flower Color

 

Dark, scarlet red. Nearly brown. 

 

California Peony Sun Requirements

 

Full sun. 

 

California Peony Water Requirements

 

Winter water and summer drought. Regular water during the summer will kill this peony. 

 

California Peony Growing Zones

 

Hardy to USDA growing zone 9. 

 

Balkan Peony – Paeonia peregrina

 

This is one of the only bright red peonies available for gardeners. It is native to the Balkan countries and Turkey. 

 

Balkan Peony Bloom Type

 

Single bloom. 

 

Balkan Peony Flower Color

 

Fire engine red.

 

Balkan Peony Sun Requirements

 

Full sun to part shade. 

 

Balkan Peony Water Requirements

 

Regular water. 

 

Balkan Peony Growing Zones

 

Hardy to USDA growing zone 4b.

 

Fernleaf Peony – Paeonia tenuifolia

 

The feathery texture of the fernleaf peony makes it unique among peony species. When looking to diversify your peony garden, consider leaf texture as well as bloom color and shade. Different shaped leaves can add structure and form to your garden. 

 

Fernleaf Peony Bloom Type

 

Single bloom.

 

Fernleaf Peony Flower Color

 

Usually red, sometimes deep pink. 

 

Fernleaf Peony Sun Requirements

 

Full sun to part shade. 

 

Fernleaf Peony Water Requirements

 

Prefers regular watering.

 

Fernleaf Peony Growing Zones

 

Hardy to USDA growing zone 4b. 

 

Wild Western Peony - Peonia brownii

A Paeonia brownii flower in the early stages of blooming.

 

Brown Peonies

 

Only the western peony (creatively named Paeonia brownii) and the Greek peony are naturally brown. Unsurprisingly, this color isn’t too popular among home gardeners and horticultural peony varieties. 

 

Western Peony – Paeonia brownii

 

With the exception of the California peony, this is the only other peony native to North America. It grows in mountainous regions of the western U.S. Some people consider the California peony a subspecies of Paeonia brownii. However, this species grows in the cold, high sage country whereas the California peony grows in the mild chaparral, maritime habitats. The western peony is difficult for home gardeners to grow. 

 

Western Peony Bloom Type

 

Compact, single bloom. 

 

Western Peony Flower Color

 

Chocolate brown.

 

Western Peony Sun Requirements

 

Full sun to part shade.

 

Western Peony Water Requirements

 

Grows in open, dry areas with little summer precipitation. 

 

Western Peony Growing Zones

 

Hardy to USDA growing zone 6. 

 

Greek Peony – Paeonia parnassica

 

In addition to dark purple or brown petals, this plant has purple anthers. This peony is native to a few mountain ranges in Greece and is a tough plant to use in gardens. It can take many years for it to flower in home gardens. 

 

Greek Peony Bloom Type

 

Single bloom.

 

Greek Peony Flower Color

 

Dark purple to chocolate brown. 

 

Greek Peony Sun Requirements

 

Full sun to part shade. 

 

Greek Peony Water Requirements

 

Prefers regular water.

 

Greek Peony Growing Zones

 

Unknown. 

 

Peonies in Multiple Colors

 

While uncommon in the wild, multi-colored peonies are a favorite in gardens. Breeders have created scrumptious blooms that combine yellow and pink or white and red. Some wild species of peonies have two-colored petals, while a handful has two different colored, natural varieties. 

 

Molly the Witch – Paeonia daurica

 

This peony is native to the Caucasus mountains of central Asia. Having many subspecies in a variety of habitats throughout its range, this diverse peony comes in a wide array of colors. Some cultivars do well in home gardens. 

 

Molly the Witch Bloom Type

 

Single bloom.

 

Molly the Witch Flower Color

 

This peony can be either white, pink, or a striped mixture of the two colors. Some cultivars even have yellow flowers. 

 

Molly the Witch Sun Requirements

 

Sun to part shade.

 

Molly the Witch Water Requirements

 

Needs regular water. 

 

Molly the Witch Growing Zones

 

Hardy to USDA growing zone 4. 

 

Japanese Forest Peony - Paeonia obovata

 

Japanese Forest Peony – Paeonia obovata

 

This peony has one of the more widespread native habitats of all peony species. Unlike its name implies, it grows in Korea, Russia, and China as well as Japan.

 

Japanese Forest Peony Bloom Type

 

Single bloom.

 

Japanese Forest Peony Flower Color

 

Petals can be white, red, or even purple. 

 

Japanese Forest Peony Sun Requirements

 

Part shade. 

 

Japanese Forest Peony Water Requirements

 

Prefers regular water. 

 

Japanese Forest Peony Growing Zones

 

Hardy to USDA growing zone 5. 

 

Common Peony – Paeonia officinalis

 

This small peony native to southeastern Europe has attractive foliage that dies back to the ground after the first frost. This peony is a beloved garden plant all over the northern hemisphere. 

 

Common Peony Bloom Type

 

Single bloom. 

 

Common Peony Flower Color

 

Pink to white. 

 

Common Peony Sun Requirements

 

Full sun to part shade.

 

Common Peony Water Requirements

 

Requires regular water. 

 

Common Peony Growing Zones

 

Hardy to USDA growing zone 8. 

 

Raspberry Sundae peony flowers

 

Raspberry Sundae Peony – Paeonia lactiflora

 

The flowers on this peony are so large and heavy that they can break the strong stems that support them!

 

Raspberry Sundae Bloom Type

 

Double-bloom, Golden circle

 

Raspberry Sundae Flower Color

 

A lovely mix of pink, white, and light yellow petals. 

 

Raspberry Sundae Sun Requirements

 

Grows best in full sun. 

 

Raspberry Sundae Water Requirements

 

Prefers regular watering.

 

Raspberry Sundae Growing Zones

 

Hardy to USDA growing zone 4

 

Moutan Peony – Paeonia delavayi (Paeonia suffruticosa)

 

This peony, sometimes called the maroon tree peony, is one of the best species of tree peony for the home garden. It isn’t too fussy, except that it doesn’t do well in cold areas. 

 

Moutan Peony Bloom Type

 

Single bloom.

 

Moutan Peony Flower Color

 

The two main kinds of Paeonia delavayi have either deep scarlet red or pale yellow flowers.

 

Moutan Peony Sun Requirements

 

This peony prefers some shade but can grow in full sun in some places. 

 

Moutan Peony Water Requirements

 

Moutan peony requires consistently moist, but never waterlogged, soil. 

 

Moutan Peony Growing Zones

 

Hardy to USDA growing zone 6. 

 

Yellow Peonies

 

Both naturally yellow species of peonies have woody, strong stems and live in southern China and Tibet. 

 

Tree Peony – Paeonia delavayi

 

This tree peony isn’t much of a tree, growing to five feet tall. However, it is one of the few woody species of peonies. The tree peony is native to grasslands in southern China and Tibet from 9,000 to 11,000 feet. This peony creates a nice hedge. 

 

Tree Peony Bloom Type

 

Single bloom.

 

Tree Peony Flower Color

 

Usually butter yellow, but sometimes scarlet red.

 

Tree Peony Sun Requirements

 

Full sun to part shade.

 

Tree Peony Water Requirements

 

Requires a moderate amount of water. 

 

Tree Peony Growing Zones

 

Hardy to USDA growing zone 4. 

 

Tibetan Tree Peony

 

Ludlow’s Tree Peony – Paeonia ludlowii

 

Like its cousin Paeonia delavayi above, Ludlow’s tree peony is native to southern China and Tibet, where it is called ‘God’s flower’ in Tibetan. Rats might be this peony’s best method of dispersal in its native habitat!

 

Ludlow’s Tree Peony Bloom Type

 

Single bloom. 

 

Ludlow’s Tree Peony Flower Color

 

Yellow petals. 

 

Ludlow’s Tree Peony Sun Requirements

 

Full sun to full shade. 

 

Ludlow’s Tree Peony Water Requirements

 

Thrives in rich soils with moderate watering. Doesn’t tolerate too much water. 

 

Ludlow’s Tree Peony Growing Zones

 

Hardiness to USDA growing zone 5. 

 

Types of Intersectional Peonies (Hybrid Peonies)

 

Most kinds of peonies available in nurseries are hybrid varieties of peonies. Hybridization causes a much wider array of shapes, colors, and flowers than the 33 wild species of peonies offer. One kind of hybrid peony is the Itoh peonies. These special kinds of hybrids are a cross between a species of woody, tree peonies with herbaceous, perennial peonies. Sometimes these Itoh hybrids are called intersectional peonies. 

 

Paeonia Bartzella peony flowers

 

Bartzella Peony 

 

This cross between a tree peony and a garden peony has huge, yellow blooms.

 

Bartzella Peony Bloom Type

 

Single bloom.

 

Bartzella Peony Flower Color

 

Yellow.

 

Bartzella Peony Sun Requirements

 

Full sun to part shade.

 

Bartzella Peony Water Requirements

 

Likes moisture, but doesn’t tolerate soggy feet. 

 

Bartzella Peony Growing Zones

 

Hardy to USDA growing zone 4. 

 

Conclusion

If you want to learn more about peonies, consider planting a peony garden and joining your local peony society. There is always more to learn about popular plants, such as peonies, and there are lots of people eager to share their knowledge. Have fun and be sure to experiment with peonies yourself!

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