Herbaceous, early spring flowering perennial
Description: Fragrant, fully double, bright rose or pink colored flowers; soft, medium green foliage
Habit: Grows to 2 feet high and wide
Culture: Prefers full sun to light shade and well-prepared garden loam with added organic matter
Hardiness: Cold hardy to USDA Zone 3
Attributes: Deer resistant, attracts butterflies
The Common or European Peony, Paeonia officinalis, was found in the gardens of France and Britain since the sixteenth century when they were grown in the medicinal gardens of monasteries. Thomas Jefferson most likely was referring to the European Peony when he noted "Piony" in a list of hardy perennials as early as 1771. The 'Rosea Plena' has been documented in cultivation since at least 1613. Peonies are deer resistant and their flowers are attractive to butterflies.