Peonies are flowers that have adorned weddings, brightened gardens and are a constant reminder of beauty and sophistication. There are different types and they are classified in two ways: how they grow and the kind of bloom.
They are classified as herbaceous because they "die to the ground" in Winter re-emerging in March. With the most popular species being Paeonia lactiflora, or the Chinese Peony, most hybrids stem from this type.
These Peonies lose their leaves in the winter, but the wooden stems stay in place. Although tree Peonies are generally larger and bloom earlier than herbaceous (bush) peonies, they require a bit more care because their buds are more susceptible to a winter freeze.
Also called Itoh peonies, these flowers are a cross between herbaceous peonies and tree peonies. Creating new color combinations, they look more like tree peonies, but they die to the ground like herbaceous peonies.
Single Peony Bloom
When a peony has one or more rows of large guard petals that surround the stamen, it has a single bloom.
Japanese and Anemone Peony Bloom
Semi-Double, Double, and Double Bomb Peony Bloom
Double Bloom Peony
In these three bloom types, the petals progressively increase and curl more and more into a sphere. A semi-double bloom has several rows stemming from the crown, and they are intermixed with the stamen. The double and the double bomb bloom increase in rows and actually curve to the point where the stamen is completely hidden.