Different types of peony flowers you should know about

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Peonies are probably the most popular and widely distributed flowers in the world. Native to the continents of Asia, Europe, and North America, these flowers never fail to capture our hearts. Most often, peony flowers are symbols of romance, prosperity, and wealth. In fact, they are the omens of a happy marriage. That is why they are very popularly used in wedding decorations. Moreover, their pretty colors and fragrant aroma attract several lovers.

But did you know peony flowers have many varieties? To this day, there is a debate on the exact number of peony varieties. While some people believe it to be 25, others say that there are 40 peony varieties. Generally, peonies are classified on the following bases:

  1. Herbaceous Peonies: Herbaceous peonies are low maintenance, strong and long-lasting flowers. They are also called bush peonies. They are mostly of two types- lactiflora and hybrids.
  2. Itoh Peonies: Itoh peonies, also known as intersectional peonies, are hybrid plants made from crossing herbaceous and tree peonies. They have very attractive colors and are quite strong and durable. However, they are shorter than the natural species.
  3. Tree peonies: Tree peonies are perennial flowers that have woody stems. They take longer to grow but produce huge beautiful flowers.

Now that you know about the various categories of peony flowers, we bring to you a list of some famous peony varieties that you should know about!

Famous Peony Flowers

1. Chinese Peony

Scientific Name: Paeonia lactiflora

Places of Origin: Central and Eastern Asia

 Chinese peony is a very common flower that is used in the preparation of bouquets. It is also called “common garden peony”. This variety of peony is popular for its beautiful fragrance and pretty shades. It is known by different names in different places depending on the colors of the flower. For instance, its bowl-shaped leaves give it the name “bowl of beauty.” The Bowl of Beauty peony consists of double flowers one in pink shade and the other in cream. Some other varieties of Chinese peony are Felix Crousse, Festiva Maxima, Laura Dessert, and so on.

2. Common Peony

Scientific Name: Paeonia officinalis

Places of Origin: Southern Europe

Common peony, also known as European peony, is a famous garden plant endemic to Europe. Initially, this variety of peonies was used for medicinal purposes but now they rarely escape gardens. Thus, Common peony has become a famous showy flower thanks to its beautiful colors. They also have a lot of sub-species and some parts such as flowers are edible too!

3. Delavay’s tree peony

Scientific Name: Paeonia delavayi

Places of Origin: China

Delavay’s tree peony is a breath-taking flower found in deep maroon color tone. Although all peony flowers have beautiful colors, the maroon shade of this tree peony is unique and truly eye-catching. Apart from maroon, it is also available in yellow color. It is named after the famous botanist Père Jean Marie Delavay, who is known for his immense contribution to the plant kingdom.

4. Himalayan Peony

Scientific Name: Paeonia emodi

Places of origin: Western Himalayas

Himalayan peony flowers are delicate herbaceous perennial flowers that are found in Himalayan regions. These are large bowl-shaped flowers with white-colored petals and yellow stamens. Himalayan peonies are widely used in ornamentation and medicine. It is believed that Himalayan peony flowers can cure hysteria, epilepsy, menstrual problems, and other health issues.

5. Ludlow’s Tree Peony

Scientific Name: Paeonia ludlowii

Places of origin: Southeast Tibet

Ludlow’s tree peony is a bright golden-yellow flower that thrives in well-drained soil rich in humus. Native to Tibet, this peony variety is known as “God’s flower” among Tibetans. Due to its bright-colored petals, Ludlow’s tree peony is very popular in decorations. It is also used in traditional Chinese medicines.

6. Paeonia mairei

Scientific Name: Paeonia mairei

Places of Origin: China

Paeonia Mairei is a beautiful rose-pink colored flower found in China mostly. Like many peony varieties, it is also named after the man who discovered it, Edouard-Ernest Maire. These flowers are not easily found outside China and have only recently been available for decorative purposes outside their native country.

7. Paeonia tenuifolia

Scientific Name: Paeonia tenuifolia

Places of Origin: Russia and Ukraine

Paeonia tenuifolia is one of the most famous peony varieties worldwide. These bright red flowers with yellow stamens are very attractive and are being used in gardens for centuries. Unlike most peonies, Paeonia tenuifolia grows in dry and hot climatic conditions. Hence, its harvest time is also earlier in comparison to other peony flowers.

8. Raspberry Sundae Peony

Scientific Name: Paeonia lactiflora

Places of Origin: China

Raspberry Sundae Peony is a stunning variety of Paeonia lactiflora species. These flowers are generally white and pink with subtle shades of yellow. These herbaceous perennial flowers are famous for their large blooms that are extremely attractive. They also have a fragrant smell and are extensively used in gardens and flower arrangements. Raspberry Sundae Peony is beyond doubt and exquisite beauty.

9. Rock’s Peony

Scientific Name: Paeonia rockii

Places of Origin: China

Known as Ziban Mudan in Chinese, Rock’s peony is one of the most famous tree peony varieties. Like all tree peonies, Rock’s peony also has woody stems that develop into a bush or a small tree with time. Even though the white flower looks radically different from a rock it is named so after Dr. Joseph Rock who discovered it in a monastery in China. Mostly, this flower is used for ornamental purposes but in many cases, it is also a primary ingredient of traditional Chinese medicines.

10. Veitch’s peony

Scientific Name: Paeonia veitchii

Places of Origin: China

Veitch’s peony is a perennial herbaceous peony variety endemic to China. These flowers are among those rare species of peonies that can grow well in both shade and in the sun. The most common colors are red, pink, and magenta. It is also found in white but that is quite rare.

11. Wild Peony

Scientific Name: Paeonia mascula

Places of Origin: Europe and the Middle East

Also known as Balkan peony, wild peony is a herbaceous perennial flower native to European countries like Spain, Italy, France, and Middle Eastern countries like Iran and Iraq. This flower is widely used for its medicinal properties that can cure sore throats and cough. However, these flowers are in danger in their natural environments in various areas because of their high demand and trade.

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Hybrid species

Apart from the natural peonies, a variety of hybrid species have been created over time. Let’s check out some of them.

1.Cardinal Vaughan Peony

Cardinal Vaughan Peony, commonly known as Mudan in China, is not a natural variety of Peonies. It is a hybrid peony variety that was established in China. The unique aspect that differentiates this flower from others is that it is a tree whereas most peonies are herbaceous plants. That is why it is also known as tree peony. Cardinal Vaughan peonies are available in bright colors and hence, are very popular as showy flowers. However, these flowers are very fragile. In China, this flower holds high cultural significance.

2. Paeonia Bartzella

Bartzella is an Itoh hybrid peony variety that is usually very large golden-yellow colored flowers. They also have a lovely scent sometimes similar to that of lemons. Their huge blooms and sturdy stems make them the perfect choice for bouquets.

3. Paeonia Blaze

Paeonia Blaze is a bright scarlet-colored hybrid herbaceous plant having yellow stamens. These flowers are ideal for beautifying cottage gardens. Other than humans, these fiery flowers with a shape like that of bowls attract butterflies also!

4. Paeonia Buckeye Belle

These herbaceous hybrid varieties of peony have a dark red color with petals having a velvety texture. Their unique color and beautiful appearance make them one of the most sought-after peonies in the world.

5. Paeonia Cora Louise

These are a kind of Itoh hybrid peonies known for their fragrant, large, white, semi-double flowers. Although most of the flower is white, in the center you can find shades of purple and yellow colored stamens. Like most peony varieties, these flowers are also great options for making cut flowers.

6. Krinkled White Peonies

Krinkled white peonies are a hybrid variety of Paeonia lactifora. They are perennial shrubs having paper-like crinkled petals and hence the name. They have beautiful delicate-looking white petals with yellow stamens that give them an elegant look. These pretty flowers are quite low maintenance and widely used as cut flowers.

7. Paeonia sterniana

Paeonia sterniana are quite rare peony varieties. Found in Southeast Tibet, they come in light colors like white and pink. These flowers are very similar to other species of peonies that have white petals and yellow stamens. What sets them apart is the different number and types of carpels and lower leaves they have. Also, this flower that is named after Frederick Claude Stern (a famous botanist), produces blue colored seeds and sheds in early August. We hope you liked our collection of some of the most famous peonies in the world.