Far Out Flora

Peony Party

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Peonies are everywhere in Wisconsin. Not so much here in the Bay Area. I took these pics at Olbrich Gardens in Madison, Wisconsin. Growing up, it grossed me out that ants were always crawling on them. They’re attracted to the nectar produced by the flower buds. They don’t hurt or help the plant.

Paeonia 'Abalone Pearl'

Peonies are divided up in to three categories: herbaceous, tree and intersectional. Herbaceous peonies die back to the ground in the winter. I’m pretty sure these are all herb. peonies. Tree peonies lose their leaves in the winter time, but their woody stems remain. It looks like they don’t require as cold of a winter as the herbs. I’ve seen a few tree peonies here and there in the Bay Area. Intersectionals are a cross between the tree and herbaceous.

Paeonia 'Soft Apricot Kisses'

Why do they have to have such frou frou names?

Paeonia 'Ruby Slippers'

Paeonia 'Soft Apricot Kisses'

Paeonia 'Coral Magic'

7 Comments

  1. I have a friend who probably couldn’t even come up with the name Peony, he has always referred to them as “the ant flowers” or the “the ant plant”…I do love them, they are just so flamboyant.

  2. I dunno. If the name were over the top enough, I might buy one. Paeonia ‘Rainbow Sparkle Pony,’ perhaps. Or ‘Kitten Princess Muffin.’ Just for the name. Not that any of the ones in the post are quite there yet, but you know. Add a ‘Fluffy’ or a ‘Precious’ in the right spot, though, and I might reconsider.

  3. I love the scent… they are so wonderful.

  4. ‘Soft Apricot Kisses’ is a really nice one. Not a huge fan of the double herbaceous type, but a lot of the intersectional that are only semi double are really nice – ‘Cora Louise’ or ‘Morning Lilac’ being the favourites of the varieties I’ve seen in bloom.

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