Common garden peony 'Sorbet'

Paeonia lactiflora 'Sorbet' | Also known as: Peony 'Sorbet', white peony 'Sorbet' | Rating: 0 votes | Print / Pdf

The large, vivid flowers of paeonia lactiflora make it one of the most attractive bushy herbaceous perennials to have in your garden. An early summer bloomer, these blossoms are dotted amongst the dense dark green foliage, which comprises severely divided, smooth, leathery leaves made up of five lance-shaped leaflets. Though lush and attractive, the foliage quickly fades once the large, bowl-shaped pink, white or crimson flowers bloom. Some cultivars, like Duchesse de Nemours and Sarah Bernhardt, produce double flowers. Known as the common garden peony, it thrives in humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil, and as a tall plant may need support. A superb choice for beds and borders, pruning away dead foliage in autumn encourages growth.

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Known dangers?
  • yes
Dangers: comments
  • Avoid eating this plant, or risk having mild stomach upset.
Height [m]
  • 0.7 - 1
Spread [m]
  • 0.6 - 0.9
Dominant flower colour
  • Pink
Flower Fragrance
  • Yes, let it smell
Flowering seasons
  • Late spring
  • Early summer
Foliage in spring
  • Green
Foliage in summer
  • Green
Foliage in Autumn
  • Green
Propagation methods
  • seed
  • division
  • root cuttings
Growth habit
  • Bushy
  • Erect flower stem
  • Upright
  • Acidic
  • Neutral
  • Alkaline
Hardiness zone
  • Z3-8
Heat zone
  • H8-1
Winter temperatures [°C]
  • -40 - -7
Heat days
  • 0 - 120
  • well-drained but frequently watered
Soil type
  • sandy
  • Clay
  • chalky
  • loams
Sun requirements
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
  • Sheltered
Standard category
  • Flowers & bulbs
  • Perennials
Grown for
  • Fragrant flowers
Creative category
  • Fine fragrants
  • For Beginners
  • Colours
  • Show-offs
  • For birds & bees
  • Roses & classics
Garden type
  • Cottage garden
  • City
Garden spaces
  • Flower beds
  • Borders
Gardening expertise
  • beginner
Time to reach full size
  • 2 to 5 years
18 Related plants


PLANTS Paeonia

Paeonia is a genus of gorgeous flowering plants, grown for their large showy flowers. Depending on the species they can be between half a metre and five metres in height. They add a dramatic effect to the garden. They have pretty lobed leaves with pointed tips and fluffy looking flowers with lots of petals. Some species have flowers up to a foot across. They come in a range of colours, pink, red white or yellow. The nectar of the peony is present on the outside of the flower buds which can attract ants, they aren't harmful to the plant though. The peony is very popular in traditional Japanese artwork.

Peony 'Carol'

PLANTS Paeonia 'Carol' | -40°C - -7°C beginner Full sun, Partial shade

Paeonia Coral Charm

Peony 'Coral Charm'

PLANTS Paeonia 'Coral Charm' | -40°C - -7°C beginner Full sun, Partial shade

Paeonia Karl Rosenfield

Peony 'Karl Rosenfield'

PLANTS Paeonia 'Karl Rosenfield' | -40°C - -7°C beginner Partial shade, Full sun

Paeonia 'Karl Rosenfield' is a lovely peony that will grow bushy and upright. It has spectacular extra large double flowers of a very bright pink colour with a small yellow centre that look lovely against the deep green leaves. Each flower head has lots and lots of petals, it's a very eye catching variety. You'll get the most flowers if you plant it in a sunny spot. In the autumn cut back any dead stems and you'll help prevent the plant from becoming diseased. It's an easy plant to look after and shouldn't need too much in the way of maintenance.

Paeonia Paula Fay

Peony 'Paula Fay'

PLANTS Paeonia 'Paula Fay' | -40°C - -7°C beginner Full sun, Partial shade

Paeonia Red Charm

Peony 'Red Charm'

PLANTS Paeonia 'Red Charm' | -40°C - -7°C beginner Full sun, Partial shade

Paeonia Red Magic

Peony 'Red Magic'

PLANTS Paeonia 'Red Magic' | -40°C - -7°C beginner Full sun, Partial shade

Peony 'Renown'

PLANTS Paeonia 'Renown' | -40°C - -7°C beginner Full sun, Partial shade

Paeonia Shirley Temple

Peony 'Shirley Temple'

PLANTS Paeonia 'Shirley Temple' | -40°C - -7°C beginner Full sun, Partial shade

Paeonia ‘Shirley Temple’ is a popular peony with large white or pale pink blooms, winner of a RHS Award of Garden Merit. The plant grows large and bushy and will be covered in flowers when it blooms. It can be prone to peony wilt. It will tolerate most soil types as long as the soil is moist, and it will appreciate a sheltered position. Each flower head is packed full of ruffled petals that have a lovely scent. It will bloom later than other varieties of peony. Remove the dead flower heads after flowering.

Peony 'Thunderbolt'

PLANTS Paeonia 'Thunderbolt' | -40°C - -7°C beginner Full sun, Partial shade

Paeonia Tom Eckhardt

Peony 'Tom Eckardt'

PLANTS Paeonia 'Tom Eckardt' | -40°C - -7°C beginner Full sun, Partial shade

Paeonia 'Tom Eckardt' is a very unusual looking peony. It has bright pink blooms with small yellow and orange petals between the large pink petals that make the flower heads look like they are on fire! The flower heads are large and will put on an impressive show in any garden. Despite having large flower heads, about 5 inches across, they won't generally bend under the weight as it has strong sturdy stems. This plant will grow to about 3ft tall. It makes a great cut flower and it will also bring butterflies to your garden.

Majorcan peony

PLANTS Paeonia cambessedesii | -40°C - -7°C beginner Full sun, Partial shade

There’s nothing quite like relaxing in the sun in your garden but come rain or shine paeonia cambessedesii or Majorcan peony will have you out in the garden regardless of the weather. Majorcan peony brightens up any outdoor space thanks to the reddish-green stems, rich green and purple leaves and the stunning purple and yellow cup-shaped flowers that bloom in spring. This plant accommodates most fertile soils that are kept moist and have good drainage. For extra plant care, adding humus to the soil is sure to be appreciated. Majorcan peony grows in full sunlight and partial shade and is a picturesque plant for a rock garden. If grown in a border or bed, this colourful character will put a smile on your face whenever you walk past and its vividness adds great vitality to both large and small garden designs.

Delavay peony

PLANTS Paeonia delavayi | -40°C - -7°C beginner Partial shade, Full sun

Introduce some glamour into your garden design with paeonia delavayi or tree peony. This sassy shrub abounds with beauty and charm, featuring rich dark-red flowers shaped like cups and set against luxuriously dense and equally attractive foliage. This shrub accommodates most fertile soils as long as they offer good drainage and are kept moist and it will grow contentedly in areas of full sunlight or partial shade. Tree peony dazzles in sunny parts of woodland gardens and will gather many adoring fans if grown in borders and beds along walkways, as it is impossible to pass by this stunning shrub without pausing to pay homage to it.