With wonderful ferny foliage, Peony tenuifolia is often overlooked in favour of modern peony cultivars, we believe it deserves a place in the garden.
Known as the ‘Fern Leaf peony’ . The foliage in itself is attractive and the blood red flowers, may be small by peony standards, however they are rather stunning.
Foliage emerges a deep crimson red on individual shoots, a little like a brush on a stick. It quickly matures to a lacy ferny green.
Flowers are around 7 – 10 cm in diameter (2 – 3 inches) and do vary a little in shades od deep crimson to blood red.
Look for good sized plants (tubers or rhizomes) for sale, a few buds a good rhizome will mean good growth from a good energy store. (see picture right)
A few growers sell very small root cuttings that will take a while to flower, avoid them.
As a garden plant Peony tenuifolia has been in cultivation for nearly 250 years. Plants will reach around 75cm in height.
Peony tenuifolia ‘Rosea’ is a rarely offered pink flowering form. Rumors of a white form are probably based on the flowers of ‘Rosea’ which will fade to white with age.
Peony tenuifolia care
You will need a soil with added lime and a well drained soil to grow this species well. This is a plant that requires a cool winter and g rows naturally in areas with hot summers. It is not a plant that like humid wet summers.
When planting, the buds if active, need to be just above soil level, (see picture right) if you plant to deeply it will put up foliage, but will not flower.
Excellent when grown in the border where it will receive the attention it deserves. Also suited to the rock garden or as a ground cover plant.
Over time Peony tenuifolia will spread to form a good clump, increasing by sending out underground stolens, this is a rather slow process and Peony tenuifolia can be divided only every 4 – 5 years. Dig around a little to see how big the clump is, and remember that peonies do not like to be disturbed, so be gentle.
You May also like
- Herbaceous peonies
- Peony tenuifolia
- Peony obovata
- Tree peonies
- ITOH peonies
- American lutea hybrid peonies