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Tree Peony

Paeonia suffruticosa

Family: Paeoniaceae
Genus: Paeonia (pay-OHN-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: suffruticosa (suf-roo-tee-KO-sa) (Info)
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6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


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)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Bloom Color:

Pale Pink



Magenta (pink-purple)

Fuchsia (red-purple)


Scarlet (dark red)

Pale Yellow

Medium Purple

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

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:

Anchorage, Alaska

Cazadero, California

Sacramento, California

San Leandro, California

Stamford, Connecticut

Richmond Hill, Georgia

Winnetka, Illinois

Anderson, Indiana

Warren, Indiana

Louisville, Kentucky

Gardiner, Maine

Baltimore, Maryland (2 reports)

Brookline, Massachusetts

Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

North Billerica, Massachusetts

Quincy, Massachusetts

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Edison, New Jersey

Winston Salem, North Carolina

Columbus, Ohio

Maumee, Ohio

Tiffin, Ohio

West Jefferson, Ohio

Gresham, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Columbia, South Carolina

Canton, South Dakota

Culleoka, Tennessee

Garland, Texas

Plano, Texas

Hood, Virginia

Seattle, Washington

Madison, Wisconsin

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 22, 2011, rjogden from Gainesville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

Modern research on a substance from this and Paeonia alba (1,2,3,4,6-Penta-O-Galloyl-β-D-Glucopyranose, abbreviated PGG) has shown significant medicinal effects against prostate cancer, and more recently has been shown to inhibit formation of Staphalococcus aureus biofilm formation. This is apparently significant because these biofilms can form on hospital equipment, are extremely difficult to remove, and can be a source of infection.


On May 17, 2007, bluethroat from Quincy, MA wrote:

What a wonder, exotic shrub for my garden. I would encourage everyone to try to grow one of these extremely beautiful plant in their gardens. The shape of the shrub is small, about 4 feet when mature, and the leaves combine with the wood structure to make it a regal and dignified specimen. The flowers...of course, have no rivals in the gardening world. In fact, even the best English tea rose would find it hard to compete with the blooms of the tree peony.....a truly worthy, but still relatively rare plant whose flower is the national flower of China. My favorite plants in my garden, alongside my great magnolias.


On Oct 5, 2004, greenox from New Fairfield, CT (Zone 5a) wrote:

Living in the extreme weather of the Berkshires in CT, winter can be a matter of endurance. The tree peony endures the winter and usually within two years of planting even a small bare root plant, the gardener is rewarded with a bloom that looks like silk. Tree peonies last a lifetime or more. They are not hardy shrubs in the sense of a lilac's tough bark and wood stems, but more delicate. Someone walking over one, could easily destroy decades worth of growth. Ours are put on the pedestal of a raised bed. The deer have never eaten them. They need little care except weeding and proper spacing. They can be expensive, if you don't want to wait there are nurseries who can ship large plants ready to bloom the following year. Japanese tree peonies are usually grafted to a hardy root stock and c... read more


On Sep 11, 2003, mwhit from Tiffin, OH (Zone 5a) wrote:

Flowers are exquisite-huge with a silk like texture. Foliage remains presentable throughout the season. Woody plant that adds structure to the garden at the 3-4 ft. height. Not bothered by disease or pests to any great degree.Long-lived-A good investment for the garden.