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Tree Peony

Paeonia suffruticosa

Cultivation of the Tree Peony in China dates to the seventh century. As a favorite subject of decorative design, they were known to the West through Chinese art and the descriptions of missionaries long before the flower itself was brought to Europe. Double forms arrived first in Kew gardens by the late eighteenth century and single forms followed by 1804. The British plant hunter Robert Fortune obtained thirty to forty varieties during his expedition to China sponsored by the Royal Horticultural Society in 1834. These varieties were evident in American gardens by the 1840s and 50s. Joseph Breck of Boston noted the availability of "several beautiful new specimens . . . introduced by Mr. Fortune direct from China" by mid century.

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Growth Type: 
Woody Shrub
Color(s): 
Red, Pink, Purple
Hardiness Zones: 
Zone 4, Zone 5, Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9
Location at Monticello: 
West Lawn
Planting Conditions: 
Part Shade
Blooming History: 
April 18, 2003 to May 9, 2003April 23, 2004 to May 5, 2004April 19, 2005 to May 12, 2005April 13, 2006 to May 5, 2006April 13, 2007 to May 8, 2007April 10, 2008 to May 9, 2008April 17, 2009 to May 11, 2009April 8, 2010 to May 10, 2010April 19, 2011 to May 18, 2011March 26, 2012 to May 3, 2012April 24, 2013 to May 15, 2013April 25, 2014 to May 16, 2014April 20, 2015 to May 27, 2015April 10, 2016 to May 13, 2016April 13, 2017 to May 18, 2017April 22, 2019 to May 7, 2019April 17, 2020 to May 12, 2020April 20, 2021

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