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Paeonia obovata (Woodland Peony)

Woodland Peony, Obovate Peony

Woodland Peony, Obovate Peony, paeonia obovata
Woodland Peony, Obovate Peony, paeonia obovata

Paeonia obovata (Woodland Peony) is a versatile and beautiful peony species, offering subtle beauty, low maintenance, and ecological benefits, making it a valuable addition to diverse garden designs.

Paeonia obovata: An In-depth Look

Paeonia obovata is a species of peony known for its understated elegance and natural charm. It typically features delicate flowers and attractive foliage, making it a favorite among garden enthusiasts.

Native: This species is native to East Asia, particularly found in China, Japan, and Korea, where it thrives in woodland settings and mountainous regions.

Plant Type and Habit: The Woodland Peony is a herbaceous perennial. It features a clump-forming habit, with stems that die back to the ground each winter and re-emerge in spring.

Size: The plant usually reaches about 1.5 to 2 feet in height and spread (45-60 cm), forming a compact, bushy appearance that fits well in diverse garden settings.

Flowers: The flowers are usually single-form, with white or pink petals surrounding a center of yellow stamens. Some varieties have a subtle fragrance.

Blooming Season: It typically blooms in late spring to early summer, adding a splash of elegance to the garden when many other plants are just beginning to grow. After flowering, it produces interesting seed pods. When ripe, these pods open to reveal glossy, blue-black seeds contrasted against a bright red interior, adding late-season interest.

Foliage: The foliage is deep green, with each leaf comprising nine leaflets. The leaves are broadly obovate, giving the species its name.

Uses: This peony is primarily used for ornamental purposes. It’s ideal for woodland gardens, shade gardens, and as part of mixed borders.

Hardiness: It is hardy in USDA zones 5 through 8 and can withstand cold winters.

Toxicity: Like other peonies, this peony is toxic to cats, dogs, and horses if ingested.

Wildlife: The vibrant flowers attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies, contributing to local biodiversity.

Deer and Rabbit: It’s relatively resistant to deer and rabbits.

Invasiveness: This plant is not invasive and tends to grow slowly, making it manageable in a garden setting.

Benefits: Apart from its ornamental value, it helps in supporting local biodiversity by providing pollen for bees. Its seed pods also offer unique visual interest.

Peony Growing Tips

Light: This species prefers partial shade, especially shelter from intense afternoon sun. Dappled sunlight, as found under open canopies, is ideal.

Soil: Prefers rich, fertile, well-drained soil.

Water: Regular watering during dry spells, especially during the growing season. Avoid overwatering; ensure the soil is moist but not waterlogged.

Fertilizer: Apply a balanced fertilizer in early spring as new growth appears. Avoid high-nitrogen fertilizers, which may promote foliage at the expense of flowers.

Pruning: Deadhead spent blooms after flowering. Cut back foliage in the fall after it has died down.

Propagation: Propagate by seed or by division, lifting and dividing established clumps in autumn

Pests and Diseases: Generally resistant to pests. Watch for botrytis blight, crown rot, peony blotch, powdery mildew, root rot, white mold, and verticillium wilt.

Peony: How to Grow and Care with Success


The Peony, a member of the Paeoniaceae family, is cherished for its large, fragrant blooms in shades of pink, red, white, and yellow. Native to Asia, Europe, and Western North America, peonies are long-lived perennials or shrubs, thriving in USDA zones 3-8. Their lush foliage and striking flowers make them garden favorites, ideal for borders, cut arrangements, and special occasions.

Requirements

Hardiness 5 - 8
Plant Type Perennials, Shrubs
Plant Family Paeoniaceae
Genus Paeonia
Common names Peony
Exposure Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 18" - 24"
(50cm - 60cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit
Attracts Butterflies, Bees
Garden Uses Beds And Borders
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Minnie Shaylor’ (Peony)
Paeonia tenuifolia (Fernleaf Peony)
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Pillow Talk’ (Peony)
Paeonia ‘Lemon Chiffon’ (Peony)
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Moonstone’ (Peony)
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Cheddar Charm’ (Peony)

Recommended Companion Plants

Hosta (Plantain Lily)
Astilbe
Dicentra (Bleeding Heart)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

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Peony: How to Grow and Care with Success
Yellow Peonies per Blooming Season
White Peonies per Blooming Season
Pink Peonies per Blooming Season
Red Peonies per Blooming Season
Pretty Late Blooming Peonies for your Spring Garden
Midseason Peonies for your Spring Garden
Early Midseason Peonies for your Spring Garden
Pretty Early Blooming Peonies for your Spring Garden
Late Season Peonies for your Spring Garden
Late Midseason Peonies for your Spring Garden
Early Blooming Peonies for your Spring Garden
Very Early Blooming Peonies for your Spring Garden
Fragrant Peonies
Award-Winning Peonies
Peonies Resistant to Rain and Heat
Extend the Blooming Season of Your Peonies
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 5 - 8
Plant Type Perennials, Shrubs
Plant Family Paeoniaceae
Genus Paeonia
Common names Peony
Exposure Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 18" - 24"
(50cm - 60cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit
Attracts Butterflies, Bees
Garden Uses Beds And Borders
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Paeonia (Peony)
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Paeonia (Peony)
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Compare Now

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