13 Beautiful Peony Varieties

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    Peony Varieties for the Garden and Vase

    Mixed Peonies
    Photo: Georgianna Lane/Getty Images

    Peonies are one of Mother Nature's loveliest oxymorons: fragrant and delicate, yet tough as nails. When you plant one of these spring-blooming shrubs on your property, you should know that it has an excellent chance of outliving you, surely one of the most wonderful pay-it-forward landscape gifts there is. From elegant single-petaled varieties to exuberant "bomb" forms, discover 13 varieties to grace your spring garden


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  • 02 of 14

    Bowl of Beauty Peony

    Bowl of Beauty Peony
    Photo: Georgianna Lane/Getty Images

    Many peonies are guilty of letting their showy blooms flop in the mud after a downpour, but not so with 'Bowl of Beauty.' This anemone form of peon holds its single-petaled blooms aloft on strong stems, while the white filaments of the stamens appear as narrow petals, providing additional texture for bouquets


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    Cardinal Vaughan Peony

    Cardinal Vaughan Peony
    Photo: Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

    In contrast to herbaceous peonies, which die back to the ground in the winter, tree peonies maintain their woody stems throughout the seasons, providing structure and texture in cold months. The rich magenta purple is a standout in the early spring garden, and plants will mature to an impressive seven feet over an eight year period. 


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    Reine Hortense Peony

    Reine Hortense Peony
    Photo: Georgianna Lane/Getty Images

     'Reine Hortense' is one of those color-shifting peonies that capture the imagination. Is it white? Is it pink? This fragrant 1857 heirloom will change color as flowers mature, giving gardeners something new to delight in every day it blooms. 


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    Joker Peony

    Joker Peony
    Photo: David C. Phillips/Getty Images

    The fully double flowers of 'Joker' peonies almost resemble giant carnations due to their attractive picotee edging. Add a companion planting of foxgloves and dianthus to achieve the perfect British garden design.


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    Miss America Peony

    Miss America Peony
    Photo: Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

    'Miss America' may exhibit a hint of blush on early spring buds, but petals unfurl in pure snow white. This gold medal winning heavy bloomer is also exceptionally cold hardy, bouncing back from zone 2 winters with no problems. 


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    Fairy Princess Peony

    Fairy Princess Peony
    Photo: David C. Phillips/Getty Images

    The satiny red petals of 'Fairy Princess' contrast beautifully with conspicuous yellow flares on this herbaceous peony. Topping out at a mere 20 inches in height, 'Fairy Princess' deserves a premium spot on the edge of your spring border. 


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  • 08 of 14

    Pink Hawaiian Coral Peony

    Pink Hawaiian Coral Peony
    Photo: Georgianna Lane/Getty Images

    What a glorious way to celebrate spring. The sunrise hues of 'Pink Hawaiian Coral' helped it to earn the 2000 American Peony Society gold medal. 


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  • 09 of 14

    Buckeye Belle Peony

    Buckeye Belle Peony
    Photo: David C. Phillips/Getty Images

    Although introduced in 1956, 'Buckeye Belle' has just recently climbed in popularity in peony circles, claiming the 2010 American Peony Society gold medal and 2011 Peony of the Year award. Lustrous garnet petals are interspersed with gold anthers, which look stunning in a combination planting of yellow columbines or tulips


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    First Arrival Peony

    First Arrival Peony
    Photo: Georgianna Lane/Getty Images

    As its name suggests, 'First Arrival' blooms earlier in the season than most of the intersectional peonies in its class. The sturdy stems of this Itoh peony will hold flowers fresh and aloft for two to four weeks, barring any storms or hot spells. 'First Arrival' is the perfect shade of pink to complement your spring cottage garden, but give this shrub its own space where it won't have to compete for nutrients. 


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    Charlie's White Peony

    Charlie's White Peony
    Photo: Georgianna Lane/Getty Images

    Row after row of crepe-like petals on 'Charlie's White' beg to be touched. This three-foot variety is widely available and affordable, so plant several to ensure a bounty of neutral white blooms for all your bouquets. Cut 'Charlie's White' blooms just as the buds begin to unfurl for your spring flower arrangements. 


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    Jean Ericksen Peony

    Jean Ericksen Peony
    Photo: Georgianna Lane/Getty Images

    A prolific bloomer, 'Jean Ericksen' makes a bold focal point in the midseason spring garden. The feathery deep red petaloids in the center of the flower take up the bulk of the flower's mass, and make it a beacon to the season's first hummingbirds.


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    Pastel Splendor Peony

    Pastel Splendor Peony
    Photo: Georgianna Lane/Getty Images

    An anemone-flowering type of peony, 'Pastel Splendor' rewards gardeners who crave all shades of pink and fuchsia. As an Itoh peony, 'Pastel Spendor' exhibits the complete die-back of a herbaceous peony, but features the showy, deeply lobed leaves seen on tree peonies. 


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    Bartzella Peony

    Bartzella Peony
    Photo: Erhard Nerger/Getty Images

    A luscious lemon hue on an extremely vigorous plant helped 'Bartzella' receive the 2006 American Peony Society gold medal. Gardeners impatient for young peony bushes to reveal their promise should take note of the fast growth of Bartzella, which may produce 20 or more six to eight inch flowers in its second year of growth.