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An attractive, bushy herbaceous deciduous perennial, paeonia officinalis is one of the most popular flowering garden plants because of its combination of dark green foliage and large summery blossoms. Its leaves have five to nine narrow, lance-shaped leaflets, providing dense cover in beds, slopes or embankments. In early summer, it produces large, deep pink or crimson, bowl-shaped blossoms with golden-yellow centres. Some cultivars, like rubra plena, can have double flowers, creating a dense, frilly half-globe of colour. Commonly known as the European peony, it grows best in humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil. Superb for informal gardens, pruning away dead foliage in late autumn is recommended.
- Avoid eating this plant, or risk having mild stomach upset.
- No, neutral please
- Late spring
- Early summer
- root cuttings
- Erect flower stem
- -40 - -7
- 0 - 120
- well-drained but frequently watered
- Full sun
- Partial shade
- Flowers & bulbs
- Fragrant flowers
- For Beginners
- Roses & classics
- Cottage garden
- Flower beds
- 2 to 5 years
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.
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 ‘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.
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.
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.
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.