I was in peony heaven this afternoon during a tour the Scott Arboretum gave of their tree peony collection. Director of Grounds Jeff Jabco gave a thorough survey of the peonies currently flowering on campus - predominantly tree peonies in addition to some intersectional (Itoh) and herbaceous types. The Itoh peonies were robust with gorgeous green foliage, and some of the standouts were ‘Scarlet Heaven’ and ’Black Panther.’
My favorites of the tree peonies included ‘Nike,’ a Saunders hybrid with yellow crepe-paper petals with magenta flares and many bright yellow stamens. The Japanese tree peony ‘Rimbo’ held magenta-purple double flowers above its foliage. ‘Chinese Dragon’ had wonderful cut-leaf foliage; ‘Vesuvian’ was a deep, dark double burgundy; and the species Paeonia rockii was a bright white with deep magenta flares.
The collection was stunning - over 80 varieties of tree peonies! The recent cool, wet weather had prolonged their flowering, while many others were just in bud. It’s well worth more visits to view the next wave of blooms.