Cricket Hill Garden

Paeonia rockii subsp. taibaishanica, Species tree peony

$ 90

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Name in Chinese and pin yin: 太白山紫斑牡丹 Taibaishan Ziban Mudan

Notable characteristics: From the collection of Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum comes this intriguing subspecies of Paeonia rockii. According to the collection notes, the arboretum received their original stock as wild collected seeds in the early 1990s. The seeds were collected from a plant growing on the slopes of Mt. Taibai in south west of Shaanxi Province.

We have grown the plant for several years and it is notable as consistently being the earliest tree peony to bloom in our collection. Flowers and foliage are quite delicate.

Growth habit and size at maturity (10 years old): Upright flowers held well above the foliage. Grows to 4' tall and 3' wide (guess). 

Flower form and size: Lotus single, 4-5".

Flower fragrance: Spicy-sweet.

Bloom time: Very early season rockii, blooms in our USDA zone 6a garden in the second week of May.

Zone hardiness: Proven in USDA zones 4-9. P. rockii cultivars are particularly drought resistant once established. We have had reports from gardeners in Texas that this variety has grown and bloomed well during the last two years of extreme drought and heat.

Plant size: 1 year old grafted tree peonies have 1 woody stem, with offshoot buds, and a graft root. The plant may or may not have some of its own roots already developed. This one may bloom its first spring in the ground, or will wait until the second spring.

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