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.
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.
Why do they have to have such frou frou names?