Chinese Peony, Garden Peony 'Primevere'

Paeonia lactiflora

Family: Paeoniaceae
Genus: Paeonia (pay-OHN-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: lactiflora (lak-tee-FLOR-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Primevere
Hybridized by Lemoine
Registered or introduced: 1907
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18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow


Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

Flowers are good for drying and preserving

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Corte Madera, California

Waterloo, Iowa

Madison, Mississippi

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 11, 2012, LauraSteele from Fort Wayne, IN wrote:

Per the 1928 Lee R. Bonnewitz Iris and Peony catalog of Van Wert, Ohio:
PRIMEVERE (Lemoine). One of the two best yellow Peonies in the world, but in order to see the real beauty of this yellow Peony, the buds must be covered with paper bags which must not be removed until the bloom has been cut and taken indoors, where, when kept from the extreme sunlight, it retains the beautiful yellow tone for several days. A prize of one hundred dollars was offered during the past ten years for a yellow seedling Peony of better color than this variety. $3.00

Per the APS website:
PRIMEVERE (Lemoine, 1907) - Double - White - Midseason. Tall. Moderately fragrant. Anemone type, medium size. A flattish flower with creamy white, cupped guards rarely splashed with red; center comp... read more


On May 27, 2005, Moonglow from Corte Madera, CA wrote:

What a wonderfu addition to the garden. I heard I was pushing it zone-wise, but with guidance from fellow DGers, I pulled it off. It was actually very easy. In fact, my peonies are all grown in containers at the moment.

I believe one must start with QUALITY rhizomes (?) though. Mine came from, and you bet, I will order from them again.

"Primavera" was a 2-eye rhizome when planted late Feb 2005 - early March 2005. First season bloom is such a thrill.