Peonies – Plant Info

The peony or paeony (Paeonia) is the sole genus in the flowering plant family Paeoniaceae. They are native to Asia, southern Europe and western North America.

Peonies

Identifying Peonies

Most peony plants are herbaceous perennial plants 0.5–1.5 metres tall, but some are woody shrubs up to 1.5–3 metres tall. They have compound, deeply lobed leaves, and large, often fragrant flowers, ranging from red to white or yellow, in late spring and early summer.

Uses

Peonies are extensively grown as ornamental plants for their very large, often scented flowers. Peonies tend to attract ants to the flower buds. This is due to the nectar that forms on the outside of the flower buds.

State Flower

The peony is also the State flower of Indiana. In 1957, the Indiana General Assembly passed a law to make the peony the state flower of Indiana. It replaced the zinnia, which had been the state flower since 1931.

Species

  • Herbaceous species (about 30 species)
    • Paeonia abchasica
    • Paeonia anomala
    • Paeonia bakeri
    • Paeonia broteri
    • Paeonia brownii (Brown’s Peony)
    • Paeonia californica (California Peony)
    • Paeonia cambessedesii
    • Paeonia caucasica
    • Paeonia clusii
    • Paeonia coriacea
    • Paeonia daurica
    • Paeonia emodi
    • Paeonia hirsuta
    • Paeonia intermedia
    • Paeonia japonica (Japanese Peony)
    • Paeonia kesrouanensis (Syrian Peony)
    • Paeonia lactiflora (Chinese Peony)
    • Paeonia macrophylla
    • Paeonia mairei
    • Paeonia mascula (Balkan Peony)
    • Paeonia mlokosewitschii (Golden Peony)
    • Paeonia obovata
    • Paeonia officinalis (European Peony)
    • Paeonia parnassica (Greek Peony)
    • Paeonia peregrina
    • Paeonia rhodia
    • Paeonia sterniana
    • Paeonia steveniana
    • Paeonia tenuifolia
    • Paeonia tomentosa
    • Paeonia veitchii (Veitch’s Peony)
    • Paeonia wittmanniana
  • Woody species (about 10 species)
    • Paeonia decomposita
    • Paeonia delavayi (Delavay’s Tree Peony)
    • Paeonia jishanensis (Jishan Peony; syn. Paeonia spontanea)
    • Paeonia ludlowii (Ludlow’s Tree Peony)
    • Paeonia ostii (Osti’s Peony)
    • Paeonia potaninii
    • Paeonia qiui (Qiu’s Peony)
    • Paeonia rockii (Rock’s Peony)
    • Paeonia suffruticosa (Suffruticosa Peony; probably of hybrid origin)