"The bee emerging from deep within the peony departs reluctantly."
~ Basho, Matsuo
Tree Peonies are woody perennial shrubs. They bloom at the beginning of May before the herbaceous peony bloom. Their woody structure allows them to produce gigantic dinner-plate-sized flowers on plants that grow from 3 to 7 feet tall. After the bloom, tree peonies provide structure to the garden with deep green leaves in summer and bronze and purple foliage in fall. Native to China and cultivated for millennia, these deer-resistant plants thrive in horticultural zones 4-9. Tree peonies grow slowly, producing 1 to 6 inches of new growth each year. Given well-drained soil and dappled sunlight, they will live for centuries. Stately, rare, huge flowers, nice leaf coverage, simply fabulous.