Japanese Tree Peonies

Tree peonies are not native to Japan. They were introduced there as medicinal plants by wayfaring Chinese Buddhist monks in the 8th century CE. Over the next few hundred years tree peonies were planted in temple and court gardens as ornamental plants, but it was not until the 18th and 19th century that cultivation became widespread. As in China, tree peonies in Japan carry significant cultural symbolism. When depicted in art and poetry, tree peonies represent good fortune as well as a righteous and noble spirit.

The majority of Japanese tree peonies share a number of characteristics. They bloom later in the tree peony season, after the Chinese tree peonies. Flowers tend to be large (8-10'' diameter), semi-double form, with bright, vibrant colors.