Paeonia mairei

Peony, Woodland peony


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Steve Hootman, Curator and Director of the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden, often pats himself on the back for collecting this exceptional species in China and each spring as our plants flower, we murmur attaboys and give him virtual high fives while virtually raising our glass in salute. Loves some shade, great foliage and spring pink flowers. Steve has bagged a host of amazing Rhodos on his collecting trips and this Peony is just as exceptional. Narrow leaflets with a distinct sheen provide backing for the fat dark pink flower buds which often emerge in the early to mid spring before the leaves. This gives an extended period of tantalization before the impressive pink flowers open. An added bonus are the lovely shiny black seeds arrayed in the starfish-shaped seed pods. All in all, a very choice introduction. Huzzah, Hootman and well done Laddie! Just cover the 'noses' an inch or two as too deep is worse than too shallow when planting peonies. This species is best in light shade although part sun such as morning sun is perfectly ok. These are seedlings that are a couple years from blooming size.


Plant Type

  • Perennial / Bulb

Mature Size


Hardiness Zones

  • Zone 4a (-30 °F)
  • Zone 4b (-25 °F)
  • Zone 5a (-20 °F)
  • Zone 5b (-15 °F)
  • Zone 6a (-10 °F)
  • Zone 6b (-5 °F)
  • Zone 7a (0 °F)
  • Zone 7b (5 °F)
  • Zone 8a (10 °F)
  • Zone 8b (15 °F)
  • Zone 9a (20 °F)
  • Zone 9b (25 °F)

Sun Exposure

  • Part Shade - Part Sun
  • Shade

Water Needs

  • Moderate
  • Moist

Bloom Time

  • Spring
  • Deer Resistant Plants