Friday, May 21, 2021

Paeonia veitchii

Paeonia veitchii (Veitch's peony) is one of my favorite peonies. I love the flowers & the leaves. It's a species of herbaceous perennial peony. It grows to about 30 inches tall & 30 inches wide, with slow & limited spread. It has a thick taproot & thin side roots, with deeply incised leaves divided into pointed segments. It has 2 to 4 slightly nodding flowers per stem. The flowers can be various shades of pink. It blooms in my Seattle garden for about 3 weeks from late May into early June. The seed pods are said to be decorative, but mine have never developed seeds. Like most peonies, it can live for decades. Unlike most hybrid peonies, it does not need staking. It is native to central China where it grows in relatively moist & partly shaded locations in open forest, grassy forest margins, between shrubs & on alpine meadows to almost 13,000 feet. It grows quite well in my garden, near sea level with afternoon sun. It can grow in no shade at all, but needs regular water in any location, even more water in full sun. I think it looks best between other perennials, ferns or small shrubs like heath, heather or Hebe. Mine grows with Alchemilla mollis (lady's mantle). I live in  Zone 8. It is also said to thrive in Zone 7 & Zone 6. It has been available from Far Reaches Farm. I got mine at one of the big spring plant sales in Seattle.

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