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Paeonia suffruticosa is often confused with:
Paeonia hybrids Paeonia 'Paul M. Wilder'
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Stokesia laevis Stokesia laevis
Syringa vulgaris Syringa vulgaris 'Congo'
Baptisia alba Baptisia alba

Tree Peony Paeonia suffruticosa

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
pay-OHN-ee-uh suf-roo-tee-KO-sa
Description

Tree Peony, despite its name, is an erect and coarsely branched flowering deciduous shrub that grows up to 6.5' tall. This plant blooms in mid to late spring and is gigantic. Too much shade or competition from tree roots inhibits flowering. Stems are brittle and need to be staked or protected from the wind. One specimen plant can produce 75-100 blossoms during the 2 month flowering period. This plant is not very hardy in the southernmost part of its hardiness area (zones 4-7). This plant is tolerant of partial shade, alkaline soils, heat, deer, and rabbit browsing. It requires moist, well-drained and fertile soils. It is intolerant of drought and has pest and disease problems. Prune this plant back only to shape; do not cut all the way to the ground like other peonies after flowering. 

Insects, Diseases,and Other Plant Problems:  Ants commonly seen on peonies are harmless.  Can get canker, leaf blight and stem wilt occasionally.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Deciduous shrub with decompound, lobed leaves
  • Gigantic, fragrant flowers on slender, brittle stems
  • Stamen filament is violet-red, and there are many concave petals
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#white#showy flowers#yellow#small tree#partial shade#white flowers#wildlife plant#pink flowers#yellow flowers#deciduous shrub#nectar plant#rabbit resistant#hedges#deer resistant#large flowers#long lifespan#alkaline soil tolerant#fantz#butterfly friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#white#showy flowers#yellow#small tree#partial shade#white flowers#wildlife plant#pink flowers#yellow flowers#deciduous shrub#nectar plant#rabbit resistant#hedges#deer resistant#large flowers#long lifespan#alkaline soil tolerant#fantz#butterfly friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Paeonia
    Species:
    suffruticosa
    Family:
    Paeoniaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    China, Tibet
    Wildlife Value:
    Flowers attract butterflies.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 5 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 5 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Follicle
    Fruit Description:
    This plant produces 2-8 spreading follicles.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Pink
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Petals:
    more than 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    > 6 inches
    Flower Description:
    Flowers are rose, pink, white, or yellow in color. They are fragrant, terminal, and up to 6" in diameter. Flowers have many petals that are concave and have finely scalloped margins. There are 5 sepals, numerous stamens, and 5 carpels. Flower filament that is violent-red in color. Cultivars come in many colors and can be single or double blooms.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are alternate, biternate, and deeply dissected. Leaflets are stalked, ovate to broad-oval, 3-5 lobed, pale green above, blue-green beneath, and up to 4" in size.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Twigs are slender, cane-like and branching above.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Hedge
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Heat
    Rabbits