Chinese Moutan Peony
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon:
- Deciduous shrub (not a tree) 6-8 ft (1.8-2.4 m); erect, open habit, thick twigs, has a woody stems that do not die back in winter. Leaves alternate, compound, bipinnate, leaflets 5-10 cm long, ovate, 3-5 large teeth or lobes, terminal leaflet 3-lobed, light green above, bluish-green below. Large flower, deep red to pink to white (yellow in some hybrids), basal spot on each petal, often double or semi-double, up to 30 cm across.
- Sun to part shade (best), well drained, rich, and slightly basic soil, remove suckers from rootstock. Difficult to propagate and plants aare costly.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 5 Native to the mountains of northwestern China. Cultivated for centuries in China and Japan; there are several hundred cultivars. Moutan is the Chinese word for Peony.
- suffruticosa: somewhat shrubby
- Most of the Tree Peonies offered for sale in the United States are designated Paeonia suffruticosa, but it is likely they represent complex hybrids of numerous species (i.e., mixtures of P. suffruticosa, P. delavayi, and P. lutea).
- One well known white flowering form that for years has been called P. suffruticosa ‘Rock's Variety’ or ‘Joseph Rock’, or P. suffruticosa spp. rockii, has recently been classified as a distinct species, P. rockii.
- Flower Images of selections of P. suffruticosa: part 1 and part 2
- Oregon State Univ. campus: red flowering form in the Hort Garden west of Cordley.