Peonies originated in China, Siberia and Japan around 2,500 years ago. In the United States, gardeners first planted lactiflora peonies around the year 1800, and since that time, the flowers have escaped captivity to grow wild in some areas.
As a member of the Ranunculaceae family, the lactiflora peony produces large blooms. Relatives of the lactiflora peony include buttercups, clematis and anemones.
Lactiflora peonies feature many rounded petals that give the flower a soft appearance and make it difficult to see the center of the blossoms when the flower is in full bloom.
Lactiflora peonies reach average heights of two to three feet, according to Michigan State University.
There are many different hybrids or varieties of lactiflora peonies, such as the cherry bomb, duchess de Orlean, the Illini warrior and the Japanese beauty. Peonies grow in a variety of colors, including white and shades of yellows, reds and pinks, and some flowers feature petals in more than one color.
In the United States, lactiflora peonies grow wild in the states of New York, Pennsylvania and Kentucky, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In Canada, lactiflora peonies grow in the province of Ontario.