Paeonia lactiflora

Scientific name: Paeonia lactiflora


Common names: “Common garden peony” “Chinese peony”

Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial


Zone: 6

Light: Full sun – part shade, smaller blooms in shade

Exposure: Shelter from cold winds & excessive water to foliage when in bloom

Soil: Heavy, humus rich

Moisture: Moist well drained


Plant Size: H 4′ W 3.5′, fast growing

Leaf and Stem shape: Divided foliage and erect stems

Flower: Fragrant, rose-pink – white – yellow  double flowers with ruffled inner petals

Maintenance: Medium, requires staking, deadheading if seed pods not desired, hide cuts in foliage, needs to be planted shallow! just below the surface, do not add manure or mulch over crown,

Landscape use: Cut flower garden, shrub underplanting, informal, don’t like being crowded or overshadowed

Propagate: By seed and division

Pests & Disease: Susceptible to leaf spot, botrytis

Comments: Most peonies need 1-3 years to bloom, cvs’ bloom at different times

Cultivars: Early season: ‘Bess Bockstoce’ – double rose , ‘Cythera’ – coral single , ‘Pagent’ – robust single pink, vigorous with good foliage , ‘Requiem’ – single pink-white , ‘Roy Pehrson’s Best Yellow’ – single pale yellow

Mid-Late season: ‘Pink Princess’ – single pink fragrant , ‘White Innocence’ – very tall single white , ‘Milton Jack’ – heavy double deep pink – red fragrant , ‘Barrington Belle’ – deep cerise pink with a large boss of golden stamens, strong grower , ‘Glowing Candles’ -large single pink with a boss of golden stamens, fragrant , ‘Jeannot’ – double rose-pink fragrant , ‘Moonrise’ – single with large central boss of golden stamens very fragrant , ‘Nick Shaylorf’ – double blush pink – white , ‘Solange’ – double rose

Excellent Fragrance: ‘Seashell’ – one of the best for late single pink , ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ – rose-like scent, very double , ‘Gardenia’ – double bomb type mid-late


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