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Chinese Peony, Garden Peony 'Sorbet'

Paeonia lactiflora

Family: Paeoniaceae
Genus: Paeonia (pay-OHN-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: lactiflora (lak-tee-FLOR-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Sorbet
Hybridized by Klinkhamer
Registered or introduced: 1987
» View all varieties of Peonies




24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


USDA Zone 2a: to -45.5 C (-50 F)

USDA Zone 2b: to -42.7 C (-45 F)

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)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Pale Pink


Pale Yellow


Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer



Good Fall Color

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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

Water Requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Anchorage, Alaska

Fairbanks, Alaska

Sacramento, California

Titusville, Florida

Jonesboro, Georgia

Lawrenceville, Georgia

Snellville, Georgia

Itasca, Illinois

Plainfield, Illinois

Durham, Maine

Frazee, Minnesota

Brunswick, Missouri

Laurel, Montana

Clifton Park, New York

Ithaca, New York

Greensboro, North Carolina

Ashland, Ohio

Coshocton, Ohio

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Pryor, Oklahoma

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Reynoldsville, Pennsylvania

Williamsport, Pennsylvania

North Augusta, South Carolina

Knoxville, Tennessee

Portsmouth, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 28, 2012, upallnightagain from Jonesboro, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Absolutely beautiful! I planted this bareroot 10 years ago this year and it's performed better every year, although each year I think it's not possible for it to look any better. If it gets the sun it needs it thrives. Other than when initially planted, I've never watered this plant, never fed it or treated it with anything. So it blows my socks off with just the clay soil it's planted in and all the sun it can stand. I'm posting a picture of it in all it's glory now! The blooms aren't as huge and pendulous as some other varieties, but they're showy in coloring plus they don't hit the ground under their own weight. I do have to use peony supports, but on the larger bloomed varieties sometimes they bend or break under the weight of the blooms even with supports. Sorbet just looks beautifull... read more


On Apr 6, 2010, jazzy1okc from Oklahoma City, OK wrote:

Although all types of peonies are much appreciated, this is an especially great great choice for Oklahoma gardeners because the blooms shed rain quickly and aren't as easily damaged by wind. Spring can be tough on the big fancy blooms!


On Apr 13, 2007, Treewomano from Pryor, OK wrote:

Good performer, bloomed first season after planting. I got seed pods and let them mature but after drying and opening pods discovered that seed appeared immature and not viable.
Plant did very well and survived ice storms, with 5 eyes in second season. It is located in very poor, rocky clay soil with placement at eastern exposure.
Wonderful fragrance and fairly long lasting bloom.


On Oct 28, 2004, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

"Bomb" type peony, and one which I dry for floral arrangements. They add a "different" look to an arrangement because the center sometimes dries two toned and gives an unusual look.

These were the first peony bushes I planted and have been dependable and hearty here in zone 5. For someone who just wants a beautiful bush to enjoy, I recommend Sorbet. They're just gorgeous.

Make sure you plant any peony root with the eyes not deeper than 1 1/2", otherwise it will take several years for them to bloom. Water more in spring prior to bloom, plant in well drained soil.