Tree Peony Love

My mom sent me these pictures of my tree peonies growing up in Minneapolis.  I REALLY regret not planting more of these (granted I’m 26…I have plenty of time to plant more) but seriously…how can you not live these?!  The flowers are HUGE!  I have no idea what the name of this first magenta cultivar one is.  It was supposed to be more of a lavender color but I really don’t mind this at all (and might even prefer it).  What has really surprised me is how fast these are growing.  This was a one gallon plant with no branches 3 years ago.  I was always told they’re oh-so-slow growing and it’d be at least 5 years before they looked like anything.  Well, I’d say this looks like something and it’s been had blooms for at least two years now.


This one is a cultivar named Shima-nishiki.  This might be one of my favorite flowers.  I know they’re a bit gaudy but I still think they’re the best.  I love how you never know what the flowers are going to look like; no two are the same (or really even close to the same).  This plant is even more impressive than the last to me because I bought it bare-root from a garden center.  It was a tiny twig about 4 inches tall and the diameter of a pencil. I thought it’d be at least 6 years before it was big enough to do anything.  Nope, this one had blooms in it’s 2nd year and has had more and more every year since.


In conclusion, go out and buy tree peonies. Now.  DO IT.


4 thoughts on “Tree Peony Love

  1. These look like nice, large peonies, but not tree peonies. The tree peony on our street is about 15 feet and has a nice trunk, and the leaves are different..
    You might want to look that up. Beautiful site and shots, as always.

    • I know for a fact that they’re Paeonia suffriticosa. They have woody stems. Our herbaceous peonies haven’t even started blooming yet. A 15 foot tall tree peony takes about 20 years to get that big. These guys are only 4-5 years old (though they’d be taller if my mom would stop cutting them back to 1 foot tall).

  2. Tom, those are beautiful! I really appreciate the tree types, because they are woody enough to hold their flowers up, the herbaceous ones always flop and just look messy. Keep on planting them!

  3. I love tree peonies – they always remind me of a day trip to the botanical garden in Munich a couple of years ago, which was the first place I ever really noticed them.

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