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Herbaceous Perennial

Paeonia mascula
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

wild peony

P. mascula is an erect, herbaceous perennial with bluish-green leaves divided into nine leaflets. Single, scented, deep purplish-red or rose pink flowers, 7-13cm across, with a boss of dark yellow stamens, are produced in spring

Other common names
coral peony
English peony
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Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Red Yellow Green
Summer Green
Autumn Green
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Paeoniaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Clump forming
Potentially harmful
Pets (dogs, cats): Skin irritant. For further information and contact numbers regarding pets, see the HTA guide to potentially harmful plants
Genus

Paeonia may be herbaceous perennials or deciduous sub-shrubs with large, divided leaves and showy large bowl-shaped flowers, usually in early summer

Name status

Correct

Plant range
S Europe to Iran

How to grow

Cultivation

Best in a deep, fertile, humus-rich soil that is moist but well-drained in a sheltered position in full sun or partial shade. Long-lived but resents disturbance. See herbaceous peony cultivation for further information.

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown in containers outdoors in autumn or early winter (may take two or three years to germinate), or by division in autumn or early spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Cut flowers
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Remove dead flowers as they fade, then cut back plant as the foliage dies down in autumn

Pests

May be susceptible to leaf and bud eelworm and soil-dwelling swift moth larvae

Diseases

May be susceptible to a virus, honey fungus, Verticillium wilt, peony leaf blotch and peony wilt

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