Monday, May 16, 2016

In a Vase on Monday: The Tree Peonies

What a wackadoodle spring it's been. First, spring comes early, then winter returns, then it's summer, and now I'm sitting here wrapped up in a blanket in my flannel jammies, wearing my Uggs fringed moccasins to keep warm. I don't know what month it is behaving like, but it is not May.

But it is May. I know, because the peonies are blooming. I've got three types here at Our Little Acre: tree peonies (Paeonia suffruticosa), herbaceous peonies (Paeonia lactiflora), and intersectional (Itoh) peonies, which are a cross between a tree peony and an herbaceous peony. I used to also have a fernleaf peony (Paeonia ternifolia), but it disappeared one year and has never returned. I loved it and if I ever find another one, I'll buy it again.

The tree peonies are always the first to bloom, followed by the herbaceous and then finally, the intersectionals. (The fernleaf peony, when I had it, bloomed before the tree peonies.)

The buds on the tree peonies are bulbous and larger than those of the
herbaceous peonies. Some of my buds were as large as a racquetball.

Herbaceous peonies are known for their beautiful fragrance - traditional rose-like in nature - but tree peonies not so much. Many people think those stink. But it depends! Of all my tree peonies, only a couple of them have stinky smells. The others have a nice fragrance to them including my largest one, this pink variety that I purchased in 2005 at the Cleveland Flower Show.

This was sold to me as Paeonia suffruticosa 'Sahohime', but it lacks
that cultivar's dark red eye zone.

Paeonia suffruticosa 'Kamatanishiki' really is lavender.

I've purchased the 'Shimanishiki' tree peony twice, but both times, the bloom made it obvious that isn't what I got. I'll keep trying. Maybe the third time is a charm? I think I need to buy it when it's in bloom.

I had so many blooms this year that I cut several to bring in the house and put them in this silver bowl. These are from three different tree peonies, but most of them are from the not-Sahohime.

Tree peony blooms always look to me like they're made of crepe paper.


In a Vase on Monday is hosted by Rambling In the Garden. Go there to see more beautiful cut flowers and plants!


Lisa at Greenbow said...

This May weather has been weird.
Your peonies look fab. The vase full is how to keep them since the weather so easily adversely affects them.

Jenny said...

I love my peonies. Mine are almost finished blooming & I have enjoyed them so much.

I also have just had my first Christmas amaryllis bloom in my garden! I'm trying some of your suggestions to get them to rebloom this winter & have planted them in my garden.

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Hi Kylee! In my eyes, all peonies are beautiful; I've never seen an ugly one! You showed some beauties here! From my plants, only Coral Charm has ...well, let's say stinky aroma. I missed my tree peony blooms this May. The only thing that makes me feel better about that - the fact that I was visiting Great Dixter.

RobinL said...

So you're saying that I should waste more money on a tree peony, in hopes that this one will live through the winter? LOL Gorgeous!

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