Just two years in the garden and when it blooms, it takes my breath away. I visit it several times a day as its beauty will last only a short time. But what a show! Each bloom is at least six inches across and the color so vivid, your eyes automatically seek them out. I am glad I took a photo before the rains did their work and I am left with only the seed heads.
Paeonia suffruticosa (Tree Peony) differs from its cousin Paeonia spp. Hybrids (Garden Peony) in that it has a woody structure. It resembles a woody shrub that goes dormant in winter but, it will put our new shoots from last years wood, forming a small tree that gets a bit bigger each year. Garden Peonies are herbaceous perennials that die down completely each year and generate from the roots every spring, therefore they are pretty much about the same hight from year to year getting wider and bushier as years go by. Both are, given the right conditions, very long lived.
I love both forms of Peonies and like to try new cultivars whenever I find them. They are available in all colors except blue, the foliage is gorgeous all summer and they are deer resistant. What else could you ask of a plant?
Read more about Peonies: Rhode Island U. Horticultural Programm
“How can one help shivering with delight when one’s hot fingers close around the stem of a live flower, cool from the shade and stiff with newborn vigor!” ~Colette