Paeonia obovata

Japanese forest peony, Peony


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A very elegant species combining refinement of foliage and flower. Rounded leaflets softly tinted in flesh tones back the single pink goblet shaped flowers. Exquisite is a word not used lightly here. A denizen of the Japanese woodlands, this performs beautifully in full to part shade. The flowers, while small, are not to be discounted as the presentation is very good. What is better are the flamboyant starfish seed pods which open in fall to reveal a jewel box of glistening seeds like blue-black pearls nestled in the carnelian of infertile seeds. Fair to say this is the queen of our shade garden in the fall and all who view her display become instant loyal subjects. These are seedlings that are a couple years from blooming size.


Plant Type

  • Perennial / Bulb

Mature Size


Hardiness Zones

  • Zone 6a (-10 °F)
  • Zone 6b (-5 °F)
  • Zone 7a (0 °F)
  • Zone 7b (5 °F)
  • Zone 8a (10 °F)
  • Zone 8b (15 °F)

Sun Exposure

  • Part Shade - Part Sun
  • Shade

Water Needs

  • Moderate

Bloom Time

  • Spring
  • Deer Resistant Plants