Peonies are common favorites among gardeners, and there are an estimated 40 species in the genus Paeonia. The majority of these are herbaceous (herbaceous peonies), but this group also contains woody shrub types (tree peonies) and a hybrid of the two (Itoh peonies), all of which have magnificent flowers and similar care needs.
These plants are hardy to USDA zones 3-8 and require a cold period to bloom the following spring. Unfortunately, herbaceous and tree peonies only bloom for a short 7-10 days each year, however, Itoh peony varieties can bloom for much longer.
Luckily, many varieties and cultivars exist which have slightly different blooming times, so with some strategic planning, it is possible to have a Peony blooming season of up to 6 weeks.
Flowers grow in different forms, which are single, semi-double, fully double, Japanese, anemone, and bomb. They also come in many different colors such as pink, purple, white, red, yellow, orange, and cream. With so many types of peonies to choose from, there is a perfect match for every garden.
#1 Himalayan Peony (P. emodi)
The Himalayan Peony has beautiful, single flowers with pure white guard petals and golden-yellow stamens.
#2 Chinese Peony (P. lactiflora)
Native to China, the Chinese Peony has fragrant, single flowers which grow up to 4 inches across. Guard petals are either white or pale pink, with pale yellow stamens and a dark pink center.
#3 Auguste Dessert (P. lactiflora)
Auguste Dessert is a clump-forming Peony plant. Flowers are fragrant with semi-double, rose-pink guard petals with silvery-pink margins, surrounding golden-yellow stamens. Foliage is dark green but changes to red in the fall.
#4 Bowl of Beauty (P. lactiflora)
Award winner Bowl of Beauty (Award of Garden Merit from The Royal Horticultural Society), is a beautiful plant with anemone-shaped, fragrant blossoms that are up to 8 inches wide. Guard petals are rose-pink, and inner petaloids are densely packed pale yellow, flushed with pink.
#5 Bride’s Dream (P. lactiflora)
As the name suggests, this flower is perfect for wedding bouquets. Bride’s Dream has beautiful, white, Japanese form flowers. Guard petals are pure white, while inner, delicately ruffled staminodes are rich, creamy-white. This cultivar blooms prolifically as it produces many side buds.
#6 Cheddar Charm (P. lactiflora)
This Peony flower is delightful, with lightly fragranced, anemone form blooms that are white and yellow. Guard petals are pure white, while tightly packed petaloids are forked and a delicate buttery-yellow.
#7 Cora Stubbs (P. lactiflora)
Cora Stubbs is truly a show-stopping plant with Japanese form, fragrant flowers. Blooms have raspberry-pink, double-layered petals, and tightly packed, creamy-white, and pale pink, ruffled staminodes. This Peony blooms heavily and develops many side buds, prolonging the flowering period.
#8 Festiva Maxima (P. lactiflora)
Festiva Maxima is an award-winning Peony (Award of Garden Merit from The Royal Horticultural Society) and has been a firm favorite for over 150 years. Blooms are large, reaching up to 7 inches wide, and have a lovely fragrance. Fully double flowers are densely packed with pure white, ruffled petals, sparingly flecked with crimson.
#9 Gleam of Light (P. lactiflora)
With flowers reaching up to 8 inches wide, Gleam of Light would make a lovely addition to any garden. Anemone-shaped blooms have rich, velvet-pink guard petals, and large and showy petaloids that are densely packed, ruffled, and buttery-yellow.
#10 Honey Gold (P. lactiflora)
Honey Gold has Japanese form flowers which have a delicate fragrance. Large, creamy-white petals surround a large and showy tuft of golden-yellow staminodes. This color combination nicely complements its light green foliage.
#11 Karen Gray (P. lactiflora)
Karen Gray has medium-sized Japanese form flowers. Guard petals are rich, ruby color and contrast beautifully with the tightly packed, curled staminodes which are butter-yellow flushed with pink.
#12 Midnight Sun (P. lactiflora)
Midnight Sun is a striking flower that would bring rich color to any garden. Blooms are large and are of Japanese form. The guard petals are deep, blood-red, and the strap-like staminodes are deep red, edged with gold.
#13 Miss America (P. lactiflora)
Miss America has won multiple awards (American Peony Society Gold Medal and Award of Garden Merit from The Royal Horticultural Society) and is a firm favorite for its wonderful and fragrant flowers. This semi-double flower emerges from a delicate pink bud and transforms into large blooms with pure white petals surrounding golden-yellow stamens.
#14 Moonstone (P. lactiflora)
A gold medal winner of the American Peony Society, Moonstone has large, fragrant, fully double flowers. Blooms are bowl-shaped and uniform in color, with layer upon layer of delicately ruffled petals. Flowers start as blush-pink before maturing to a creamy white.
#15 Neon (P. lactiflora)
A bright and bold Peony flower, Neon has a Japanese form and is mildly fragrant. Guard petals are purple-pink and cup a large group of showy staminodes. Its staminodes are heavily ruffled and pink, edged by brilliant gold.
#16 Pink Dawn (P. lactiflora)
Also known as “Pink Princess”, this is one of the best-selling single, pink Peony varieties. Large guard petals are bright pink, surrounding tightly packed golden-yellow stamens. Petal color will fade under bright sunshine but will retain its bold pink color in shaded areas.
#17 Riches and Fame (P. lactiflora)
Riches and Fame produce large, bowl-shaped, semi-double flowers with divided leaves. Petals are dark pink edged with light pink. Stamens are golden-yellow and loosely packed.
#18 Sarah Bernhardt (P. lactiflora)
A winner of the Award of Garden Merit from The Royal Horticultural Society, and an extremely popular cultivar, Sarah Bernhardt has fully double flowers which reach up to 8 inches across. Guard petals are rose-pink and inner petals are rose-pink occasionally flushed with raspberry.
#19 Sword Dance (P. lactiflora)
Sword Dance has striking flowers which would make a statement in any garden. Blooms are Japanese form, with deep red-pink guard petals and densely packed, curly staminodes that are golden-yellow streaked with red.
#20 Vogue (P. lactiflora)
Vogue has delightfully fragrant, fully double flowers. Guard petals are initially soft pink but gradually fade to pure white. Inner petals are pure white and allow the slightest peek at the brilliant yellow stamens within.
#21 Common Peony (P. officinalis)
Native to Europe, the Common Peony has red or dark pink single flowers. Blooms are fragrant, with red or dark pink guard petals and yellow stamens.
#22 Rosea Plena (P. officinalis)
Rosea Plena is a beautiful and showy double-flowered P. officinalis cultivar. Guard petals are bright rose-pink and ruffled. Winner of the Award of Garden Merit from The Horticultural Society, it has been cultivated in America since the 1700s.
#23 Exotic Peony (P. peregrina)
Also known as the Balkan Peony, this peony plant has rich, crimson single flowers with golden-yellow stamens. Blooms grow over 4 inches wide and are bowl-shaped.
#24 Fernleaf Peony (P. tenuifolia)
The Fernleaf Peony is native to Southern Europe and Turkey. It has fern-like, feathery foliage and deep red flowers. Blooms grow up to 4 inches across and have contrasting golden-yellow stamens which make this peony plant particularly striking.
#25 Bartzella (Hybrid)
Bartzella is a 2006 gold medal winner of The American Peony Society and has magnificent semi to fully double flowers that can reach up to 8 inches wide. Guard petals are yellow with scarlet flushed bases and stamens are buttery-yellow. Mature plants can produce up to an impressive 60 blossoms per bush.
#26 Cora Louise (Hybrid)
Cora Louise has semi-double flowers which are delicately fragrant. Guard petals are soft pink with dark purple-pink blushed bases. The stamens contrast beautifully and are pale yellow.
#27 Garden Treasure (Hybrid)
Garden Treasure has semi to fully double lemon-yellow flowers. Stamens are golden-yellow and guard petals are flushed soft pink at the bases. This Itoh hybrid has a long blooming period of 4-6 weeks in the summer.
#28 Kopper Kettle (Hybrid)
Kopper Kettle is an interesting and absolutely lovely Peony hybrid. Flowers grow up to 8 inches wide and are semi to fully double, but what makes these Peony flowers so special is their color. Petals are a soft copper rose, before maturing to a soft gold with rich, burgundy flared bases. Flowers have a strong fragrance and are fantastic for bouquets.
#29 Mountain Lilac (Hybrid)
Morning Lilac has semi-double flowers which can grow up to 9 inches across. Guard petals are deep purple with occasional white and dark pink streaks. Closer to the center, petal color deepens. The stamens are dark pink bases with yellow tips.
#30 Singing In The Rain (Hybrid)
This Peony flower has delicate, cream flushed apricot-pink, semi-double flowers. Stamens are golden-yellow and contrast beautifully with the petal color.
#31 Ludlow’s Tree Peony (P. ludlowii)
Ludlow’s Tree Peony has bold and bright sunshine-yellow single flowers. Blooms grow over 4 inches wide and are extremely eye-catching with matching sunshine-yellow stamens.
#32 Rock’s Tree Peony (P. rockii)
This Peony tree has semi-double flowers. Guard petals are white with rich, purple flared bases. Stamens are neatly packed and are dark purple tipped with pale yellow.
#33 Duchess Of Kent (P. suffruticosa)
Peony plant Duchess of Kent has fully double flowers which begin as dark pink before developing a violet hue. Guard petals are lightly ruffled and stamens are golden-yellow.
#34 High Noon (P. suffruticosa)
High Noon has buttery-yellow semi-double flowers with a red center. Guard petals are delicately ruffled and stamens are golden-yellow and tightly packed.
#35 Jing Ge (P. suffruticosa)
Jing Ge, also known as Golden Temple, has large, fragrant, fully double flowers. Guard petals are frilly-edged and pale orange to yellow with pink petal margins.
#36 Yachiyo-tsubaki (P. suffruticosa)
This Peony tree has magnificent semi-double flowers. Also known as Eternal Camellias, guard petals are lightly ruffled and a delicate coral pink. Blooms are bowl-shaped and central stamens are brilliant yellow-gold.
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