Paeonia brownii – Brown’s Peony

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Scientific Name

Paeonia brownii Douglas ex Hook.

Common Names

Brown’s Peony, Native Peony, Western Peony

Synonyms

Paeonia brownii subsp. brownii

Scientific Classification

Family: Paeoniaceae
Genus: Paeonia

Flower

Color: Dark maroon
Bloom Time: March to June

Description

Paeonia brownii is a herbaceous perennial flowering plant up to 20 inches (50 cm) tall with dark maroon flowers up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) in diameter. Each pinkish stem is somewhat decumbent and has 5 to 8 twice compound or deeply incised, bluish green, hearless, somewhat fleshy leaves which may develop purple-tinged edges when temperatures are low. The blades of the leaflets or segments are oval to inverted egg-shaped, up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) long and up to 2 inches (5 cm) wide, with a clearly narrowed, stalk-like foot and an stump or rounded tip. Flowering occurs from March to June followed by a long dormancy.

Photo via wildmacro.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 3a to 6b: from −40 °F (−40 °C) to 0 °F (−17.8 °C).

How to Grow and Care

The hardy Peony plant prefers full sun, pH-neutral, well-draining soil and a deep cold spell each year to help it regenerate in the spring. Depending on the variety you choose, they can flower from spring through early summer with plump, showy, feathery blooms in hues of pink, red, peach, and white.

Unlike most perennials, Peonies do not need to be dug up and divided as they grow and mature.

The ideal time to plant Peony tubers is in the late fall before the first hard frost. Peonies do not respond well to being transplanted, so we recommend planting tubers, rather than transplanting an established plant.

If your newly growing Peonies seem leggy or are starting to bend close to the ground, gently stake the plant stalk so it remains upright.

It’s normal to discover ants crawling on Peony flowers. These ants eat nectar and not the plant itself. They also eat pest insects. Simply shake off the ants if you decide to cut some of the flowers, otherwise leave them alone… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Peonies

Origin

Native to the western United States and usually grows at altitude, often as undergrowth in part-shade.

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