Peonies were grown in China as far back as 1000 B.C. and still occupy a prominent place in Chinese culture, according to the Paeonia website. Although the blooms and roots have been used for medicinal purposes through the years, most home gardeners grow peonies for the flowers’ charm and beauty. Peony colors include red, pink and white.
The single-petaled "Arcturus" peony blossom boasts a bright-yellow center.
Several varieties of red peony exist. Among them is the "Karl Rosenfeld." Its brilliant, double-flower blossoms reach 8 inches in diameter. Another key red variety is "Arcturus," which is distinguished by the yellow color that appears at the center of the blossom. This stiff-stemmed variety displays only single petals. Both varieties bloom during the middle of the spring. The vibrant, unabashed color of red peonies can enhance your flower garden and your home’s interior.
Pink peonies can add a feminine touch to home and garden.
Pink peonies offer a softer, more delicate appeal than their red cousins. The petals of the double-flowered "Sarah Bernhardt" are a bit paler at the edges than at center. "Sarah Bernhardt" peonies bloom later in the spring. The "Sea Shell" variety displays its single-petaled blossoms with distinctive yellow stamens at mid-spring. Pink peonies look wonderful on a bedside or breakfast table. These varieties are quite popular and can readily be found at traditional nurseries.
White peonies offer large blossoms and an intense fragrance.
The pure-white blossoms of the "Shirley Temple" peony grow to 7 inches in diameter. Dark-green leaves provide a distinct backdrop for the showy flowers. The "Shirley Temple" peony emits a strong scent and reveals the full beauty of its blossoms in mid-spring. Another popular variety, the aptly named "Krinkled White," opens its crinkly petals during the early part of the spring season. Its stamen is also yellow. White peonies are often used at wedding ceremonies and receptions