The Herbaceous and the Tree Peony Flower

If a flower were to be crowned the queen of the spring garden, the crown would surely go to the hardy and long-living peony flower.  Peonies are incredibly easy to grow and bloom so reliably, that if they’re not yet your favorite spring flower, they will be soon.  Depending on your geographic location and the specific peony you choose, you can enjoy this sensational blossom for up to six weeks every year.  The peony flower is split into two groups: the herbaceous peonies and the tree peonies.  The herbaceous peony is a perennial that grows to about three feet tall and die back to the earth each winter.  The tree peony is a more slow growing woody stemmed shrub that can reach up to six feet at full maturity.  Both the herbaceous and the tree peony can live for decades.  Now that we’ve introduced to two types of peony flowers, lets dig a little deeper into the characteristics of each group.
Peony flower a long living and bountiful flower that blooms early spring

Herbaceous Peony Flower:

Purple peonies bunched into a cluster a delightful and fragrant flower

The herbaceous peony flower is a full and bountiful early, mid and late-season bloomer, with the spring flowering lasting about two weeks in the spring. If you’re wanting your peony to flower midspring to summer, you chould choose peonies from each group type. Its important to note that different plants have different fragrant levels and are delightful options for bouquets. Now that we have covered a few of the different herbaceous peony flower characteristics, lets discuss the different varieties.

Below is a list of herbaceous peony types, a short description and a zone range which is the USDA’s plant hardiness zones. The zone locations tell gardeners which plants are most likely to thrice in their location, based on the annual minimum winter temperature.

‘Bowl of Cream’ (Zones 2–7) bears very large, double, pure-white flowers in midseason.

‘Butter Bowl’ (Zones 2 – 7) a midseason bloomer, bears Japanese-style flowers with ruffled yellow centers surrounded by pink petals.

‘Coral Supreme’ (Zones 2 – 8) one of Martha’s favorites for its large, globe-shaped, semidouble, salmon-coral flowers, is an early bloomer.

‘Golly’ (Zones 2 – 8) has unusual double flowers with soft-pink guard petals and a yellow center surrounding a tuft of pink petals in midseason.

A single pink peony flower with a multiple blooms and a hardiness zone of 2-8

‘Green Lotus’ (Zones 2 – 8) an early bloomer, bears large, distinctively fringed white blossoms streaked with lime-green and soft-pink highlights.

‘Karl Rosenfield’ (Zones 2 – 7) a free-flowering mid- to late-season bloomer, has large, globe-shaped, double, crimson blooms that are excellent for cutting, lasting about a week in a vase.

‘Sarah Bernhardt’ (Zones 2 – 8) bears globe-shaped, double flowers that fade from pale pink to blush on the outer petals and are occasionally flecked with carmine. The late-season flowers, which last about 5 days once cut, are ideal for bouquets.

Tree Peony Flower:

A sunlit pink peony trio, a woody and large spring to summer bloom

Tree peony flowers are truly four-season plants, tree peonies have aesthetically cut leaves that fall in autumn, exposing a barked stem and an appealing bare plant stalk in the winter.  The multi-branched shrubs bear six to twelve inch wide blooms. The tree peony flowers a little earlier than the herbaceous peony and are appropriate for zones 4-8.  Let’s cover the different types of tree peony flowers:

Bai Yu’ (Zones 4 – 8) a good choice for gardeners in warmer climates, has fragrant, double, white flowers that open midseason, revealing deep-yellow stamens.

‘Leda’ (Zones 4 – 8) bears fragrant semidouble deep-pink flowers with purple flares and gold stamens in midseason.

‘Marchioness’ (Zones 4 – 8) produces an abundance of fragrant apricot-blush flowers with raspberry flares at the base of each petal and gold stamens in midseason.

The peony flower is a magnificent specimen that surely deserves the title of queen of of the spring garden.  If you’re looking for a large blooming fragrant maters piece, the peony flower is the flower for you!

A deep magenta peony flower, flowering in late summer perfect for bouquets