Peony Varieties

Peonies are a staple in the home garden and have provided gardeners with fragrance, elegance and color for over 100 years. Peonies are hardy from Zone 2 to Zone 8 and are grown over most of the United States. They bloom in May or June, depending on location, and are a long-lived perennial. Once established, peonies can bloom for decades. Peonies are hardy and disease-resistant.

Sarah Bernhardt

This is the traditional garden peony and one of the most widely grown. It is pale pink and fragrant and produces an abundant amount of double-petaled flowers over a period of several weeks. Sarah Bernhardt is a tall variety (3-4 feet) and requires staking when in full bloom to prevent toppling.

Karl Rosenfeld

Karl Rosenfeld is a semi-double stunning red peony. It is a late season bloomer that produces a substantial amount of flowers on strong stalks that support their own weight in most gardens. Cutting off spent blooms will encourage continued blooming. Dark pink and red peonies do not last as long as cut flowers as do white and light pink varieties.

Duchess de Nemours

This old-fashioned white double peony is one of the most fragrant of all varieties. Its pure white petals and pale yellow and green base make it stand out amongst darker foliage and flowers in a cottage garden. It is shorter than many peony varieties which keeps it vigorous and beautiful even when covered in full bloom.

Festiva Maxima

This early-blooming peony produces brilliant double white petals with crimson bases, producing a multi-tonal look in the garden that contrasts well with its dark green foliage. Festiva Maxima is disease-resistant and a reliable and fragrant bloomer. Flowers are long-lasting in cut arrangements. In the garden, this variety stays erect without staking.

Keywords: growing peonies, cottage gardens, perennial gardening