The Common Peony, also known as Paeonia officinalis, is a beloved garden plant native to southern Europe and now found in North America. It thrives in semi-shade and is prized for its lavish, fragrant blooms that appear in late summer.
This long-lived perennial grows up to 27 inches (70 cm) tall with dark green leaves and beautiful reddish-purple cup-shaped flowers, its main identification features. Peonies are herbaceous perennials with tuberous roots, emerging in spring with attractive purple divided leaves. They come in single, semi-double, and highly ruffled double forms, in colors ranging from white to magenta and red. Plant peony tubers 1 to 2 inches (2.5-5 cm) deep in well-prepared garden beds in the fall, and they respond well to yearly fertilization.