Paeonia lactiflora cvs.
Both European and Asian peonies have been cultivated since ancient times. Those native to central China and Siberia (P. lactiflora) were first introduced to the West in 1784 and breeding witht the European Peony took place in France and Britain. Because peonies are such long-lived plants, many nineteenth-century cultivars are still available. Thomas Jefferson noted "Piony" in a list of hardy perennials as early as 1771. Mid- to late-nineteenth-century cultivars are grown here.
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