Jiu Zui Yang Fei, Chinese tree peony
Jiu Zui Yang Fei, Young Yuhuan, Drunken Imperial Concubine - Af
Fewer people in the USA are familiar with tree (or woody, or non-herbaceous) peonies than they are with herbaceous peonies. I'm starting this gallery with a shot of a lovely Chinese tree peony which illustrates several important features that distinguish tree peonies from herbaceous peonies (apart from the obvious difference in growth habit).
(1) They tend to bloom earlier than herbaceous cultivars. This is especially true of the Chinese cultivars in the Peony Garden's current collection. By this date, in 2017, all the Chinese tree peonies had reached full bloom, or nearly so, while only a few of the herbaceous peonies (out of hundreds in the collection) had bloomed.
(2) Tree peonies express a wider range of colors than is found in herbaceous peonies, at least in the heirloom cultivars in the PG collection. Yellows and purples are common among tree peonies, for example. Multicolor blooms also are common, with colors varying both from petal to petal, and from tip to base of individual petals.
(3) Flower forms, and the terms used to describe them, are more variable for tree peonies. Also, different blooms on the same plant might express different bloom forms.
This peony is described online as pinkish-purple or purplish pink, and variously as having lotus or anemone shaped blooms. Perceived color can depend on ambient color temperature (sunny, morning or afternoon, cloudy, shady, etc.), and changes as the blooms mature.
Laurel Ridge tree peonies, Chinese peony section (eastern end)
Peony Gardens at Nichols Arboretum, Ann Arbor
Taken May 15, 2017
arctangentpeony projectspeony a daytaken 2017Maypeonytree peonywoody peonynonberbaceous peonyChinese peonyChinese tree peonyNichols ArboretumLaurel Ridge peony bedJiu Zui Yang FeiYoung YuhuanDrunken Imperial Concubine
From E13. A Peony a Day Keeps the Blues Away