There are two distinct forms of
plants in the genus,
Paeonia. The most common type are the
herbaceous peonies which die back to the ground
after heavy frost in the fall. Tree peonies are a
woody shrub that keeps its stems through the winter.
Both types of peony are known for
their large, brightly colored flowers which, in some
cultivars, can be very large. Until recent decades,
double flowering types were most common but the
single flowering peonies are becoming more popular.
Tree peonies tend to be expensive
because they are slow growing plants and it takes a
long time to develop. They are broken into 3 groups:
Japanese - considered the
most showy, they have broad, crinkled foliage.
Chinese or European - have
large double blooms similar to the types found
on many herbaceous peonies.
Lutea - the word lutea
means yellow in Latin and this type of peony
bears very large yellow flowers.
This page covers only tree
peonies while herbaceous peonies are discussed on their