Snow Lotus, Chinese rockii tree peony
Name in Chinese and pin yin: 雪蓮 Xue Lian
Notable characteristics: Iridescent white petals vividly contrast with the deep maroon-black flares and golden stamens. Very floriferous variety.
This variety is the cultivated cousin of the wild species tree peony Paeonia rockii which is indigenous to Gansu Province and surrounding areas of northwest China. P. rockii is named for the American botanical explorer Joseph Rock, who introduced this tree peony to the West in the 1920s. Since this plant first came to the attention of American gardeners ninety years ago, it has been highly prized and sought after, just as it has been in its native land for centuries. This plant is sometimes sold as "Rock's Peony."
Hybridizer, year introduced: Classical cultivar from Gansu Province in Northwest China.
Growth habit and size at maturity (10 years old): Upright and spreading, flowers held well above the foliage. Grows to 6' tall and 5' wide.
Flower form and size: Lotus or light semi-double, 8-10".
Flower fragrance: Spicy-sweet.
Bloom time: Early season rockii, blooms in our USDA zone 6a garden in the last week of May and first week of June.
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 tree peonies have 1 woody stem with a strong root system. This size plant will most likely flower its second spring in the ground.
When we ship: Sold out for 2016, please check back in January, 2017.