Tree Peonies are very special plants. They originated in China and have been extensively cultivated in Japan since the 8th century. (Not a typo!) They were first introduced into Western horticulture in 1789 by the Director of the Royal Botanic Garden at Kew, in England. Unlike Garden Peonies, Tree Peonies have woody stems and do not die back to the ground at the end of the season. They are deciduous sub-shrubs, prized for their multitudes of large and spectacular flowers in various colors and forms. These plants grow slowly and have deep roots, so they should not be moved once established. They also need time to settle into their new surroundings before blooming. Tree Peonies are quite long-lived if well-placed--perhaps as long as 90 to 100 years!
Paeonia suffruticosa, Tree Peony (1' plant)
- Height: 3-5'. Spread: 3-5'. Unknown colors. Part shade, although tolerates sun with adequate moisture. Requires good drainage.