WSU Clark County Extension

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Garden Peony

Scientific name: Paeonia lactiflora

Type:Herbaceous perennials
Plant Requirements
Zone:3 to 8
Sun:Full to partial sun
Plant Characteristics
Height:3 ft
Width:3 ft
Bloom:Fragrant flowers
Bloom Time:May
Bloom Color:Pink
Additional Characteristics



Wildlife value

Description Though in North America we call it Garden Peony, in Asia it is referred to as Chinese Peony, as the Chinese consider it the king of flowers.

The garden peony is classified as an herbaceous perennial that comes in wide array of cultivars. In general they grow to 3’ in height and 2.5’-3’ in width. The leaves are oval to lance-shaped and deep green in color.

Flowers form in May and last for 7-10 days. They can be as large as 6” across on some cultivars, but more typical is 2”-3”. They come in range of colors but rose-pink is pretty common. They do bear double blossom flowers, forming a cup-shaped bouquet. The flowers have a very pleasing fragrance and attract butterflies.

Though the flowers last only a short time the foliage is interesting during the summer.

Peony does best on rich fertile garden soil that has been amended with compost prior to planting. Select a site with full to partial sun.

Peonies are relatively pest free though in very wet seasons they can suffer from Botrytis grey mold which can affect the flowers and the leaves. Be sure to give the plant a sunny location with plenty of air movement to cut down on disease incidence.
For assistance, contact Dr. Charles Brun (, (360) 397-6060 5701
Computing and Web Resources, PO Box 6234, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6234