Peony flowers

   The peony is one of the showiest of modern garden flowers. The kind most popular is a hybrid of the common peony of southern Europe and the Chinese peony.
   Peonies belong to the crowfoot, or butter-cup, family. There are over 300 varieties of the bush peony. It is a herbaceous PERENNIAL that reaches a height of about three feet. The flowers usually appear during June. They have single or double blooms ranging in color from white to red to purple. The petals are waxy. The large leaves possess deep grooves or divisions. The roots are fleshy and store food material for new growth each year. The stem has a red to green color. When peony bushes are separated and transplanted to a new location, flowers will not appear for a year or two while the plant rests.
   Some peonies have woody stems and are called tree peonies. They grow about five feet tall with many branches and a great number of blossoms. The woody tree peonies are native to Pacific coastal areas of Asia and North America.