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Paeonia obovata var. alba (Japanese forest peony)


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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Botanical Name: Paeonia obovata var. alba pay-OH-nee-ah oh-bo-VAY-tah variety AL-bah Common Name: Japanese forest peony Genus: Paeonia
This plant is a beautiful addition to the garden from early spring until autumn. Red shoots with a crystalline dusting emerge in early April, followed by 5-inch-long, egg-shaped leaves that mature to a dark, reddish green. Each 18-inch stem bears a 2-inch-wide, chalice-like, single pure-white flower with yellow anthers and purple filaments. Mature seedpods open to reveal metallic-blue pea-sized fertile seeds and holly-berry red unfertilized seeds.
Noteworthy characteristics: Often confused with P. japonica, which bears similar flowers but blooms later. Crown increases much slower than other herbaceous peonies.
Care: Prefers fertile, humus-rich, moist (but not soggy) soil. Avoid contacting the fleshy spring shoots with inorganic fertilizer, which burns the tender leaves.
Propagation: Best from seed, although slow. Plant only fresh fertilized seeds, which are metallic blue, in the autumn for good germination rates. Plants will bloom in the third or fourth year.
Problems: Botrytis is an infrequent problem.
Height 1 ft. to 3 ft.
Spread 1 ft. to 3 ft.
Growth Habit Clumps
Light Full Sun to Part Shade
Moisture Medium Moisture
Tolerance Deer Tolerant
Characteristics Showy Flowers; Showy Foliage; Showy Fruit; Showy Seed Heads
Bloom Time Spring
Flower Color White Flower
Uses Beds and Borders, Cut Flower, Specimen Plant/ Focal Point
Style Cottage Garden, Woodland Garden
Seasonal Interest Spring Interest, Summer Interest, Fall Interest
Type Perennials

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