25 Colorful Types of Peonies With Pictures

Belonging to the genus, Paeonia with 30 species and over hundreds of cultivars that produce an abundance of fragrant colorful flowers.The blooms come in a range of color shades from dark purples and reds to light pinks, yellows, and whites. The flowers usually appear in late spring and early summer and will bloom for up to 10 days.

Peonies are popular among gardeners, as they are easy to grow, low maintenance, and, of course, attractive. They also come in many different varieties and types, including the following:

Different Shapes of Peony Flowers

  • Single: These peonies are composed of a few broad petals, a single row of which surrounds a mass of pollen-bearing stamens and see-bearing carpels.
  • Japanese: In this type of blooms the doubling process has begun. The filaments of the stamens have broadened and the anthers have become extremely large.
  • Anemone: Here, the center stamens are transformed into narrow petals called petaloides
  • Semi-double: These flowers contain filaments which have widened irregularly, making petaloids of varying widths throughout which stamens are mixed. The guard petals may or may not be clearly differentiated.
  • Full double: The bloom completes the process of doubling. All the stamens and carpels have developed into petals resembling the guard petals.
  • Bombs: The flower has petaloids derived from both carpels and stamens with are much broader, without any crown, but still are clearly differentiated from the guard petals.

Types of Peony Plants and Bushes

Based on the growth habit, three broadly classified peony varieties are: herbaceous, tree, and itoh or interesectional.

Herbaceous Peony Varieties

Herbaceous peonies, also known as bush peonies die to the ground in winter.  However, they re-emerge in March, or when the snow melts. Many find that they are deer resistant, but not always. These peonies are long lived, minimal care plants. Plant them in zones 2-8, receiving 5-6 hours of full sun per day. These plants shouls be grown in rich, well-drained, organic soil.

Tree Peony Varieties

These peonies are named so, for their woody stems. These woody stems defoliate in the fall, but the woody stems stay intact, above the ground. They tend to bloom earlier and with larger flowers than the bush peony. They are generally slow to increase. Tree peonies can have a height as little as 20″ tall, all the way up to over 8′ tall, depending on the plant habit, maturity, and pruning. For optimum growth, plant them in zones 4-9, where they can receive full to partial sun. Their foliage is deep green in summer, which turns to bronze and purple in autumn.

Itoh/Intersectional Peony Varieties

These peonies are a cross between the herbaceous and tree peony.  These crosses have produced new, exciting colors.  The plants have the lovely leaf form of the tree peonies, but die to the ground in the winter. The plants are strong and healthy with a nice rounded bush form, generally shorter than most bush peonies.  They can be grown in zones 4-9, where they can get at least 5-6 hours of full sun per day. These showy ones are good at the front of the border because they are shorter than tree and herbaceous peonies

Popular Peony Varieties

1. Bowl of Beauty (Paeonia lactiflora ‘Bowl of Beauty’)

Bowl of Beauty Peony

This classic Chinese variant, showcasing anemone-shaped rose-pink flowers that can open up to 8 inches, is a stunning example of herbaceous peony. Its blossoms are cup-shaped, having large rose-pink outer petals with a cluster of ruffled white petals in the center. Also, its white or lemon-colored filaments of the stamens appear as narrow petals, called staminodes, adding to its beauty. Where most peonies drop their flowers after a downpour, these single-petaled blooms with a striking fragrance remain intact on the strong stems. The plant may be grown in a large pot or as shrub borders.

Color: Rose-pink

Flowering Season: Late spring to early summer

Height/Width: 2-3 feet/2-3 feet

Sunlight Requirement: Full sun

USDA Zone: 3-8

2. Bartzella (Paeonia x ‘Bartzella’)

Bartzella Peony

These semi-double golden-yellow peony blossoms, with absolutely striking inner streaks of red with a cluster of butter-colored stamens, offer a sunny alternative to traditional pink and magenta blooms. The flowers have a distinct ruffled look and can grow between 6 to 8 inches. This hybrid variant may produce 20 or more 6-to-8-inch flowers in its second year of growth. It has a sturdy stem that won’t flop under the weight of the prolific blooms. Though it is most suitable as a specimen plant, it can also be used for borders and beds.

Color: Golden-yellow

Flowering Season: Late spring to early summer

Height/Width: 2-3 feet/3-4 feet

Sunlight Requirement: Full to partial sun

USDA Zone: 4-9

3. Coral Charm (Paeonia x ‘Coral Charm’)

Coral Charm Peony

It is an early-blooming variant, having semi-double blooms. Its deep coral buds open to a deep persimmon color and bloom out to elegant, coral-cream colored, with a slight fragrance as they mature. The flowers create a striking contrast against the deep dark green foliage with smooth edges. This pink peony variety has large pale pink petals that gradually fade to light pink and ivory white. The showy blossoms form the shape of a bowl that surrounds golden stamens in the center. There are tiny dark-colored buds with pink tops in the middle of the flower. Native to the Mediterranean and the Middle East, this small peony only flowers for one week each year. It is among the most durable and longest-lived plants. After blooming season is over, the garden is left with a handsome mound of glossy, deep green foliage. This herbaceous perennial adds a charming element to beds and borders.

Color: Coral-cream or salmon-pink

Flowering Season: Late spring to early summer

Height/Width: 2-3 feet/2-3 feet

Sunlight Requirement: Full to partial sun

USDA Zone: 4-8

4. Joker (Paeonia lactiflora ‘Joker’)

Joker Peony

Native to central and eastern parts of Asia, this peony variety displaying fully double flowers almost resembles giant carnations due to their attractive picotee-like edges. Its 6 inches wide, fragrant, large, fluffy blooms open up bright pink, which later fades to white while retaining the distinctive pink edges. This herbaceous, bushy perennial is excellent for landscaping.

Color: Pink and white

Flowering Season: Late spring to early summer

Height/Width: 2-3 feet/2-3 feet

Sunlight Requirement: Full to partial sun

USDA Zone: 2-8

5. Miss America (Paeonia lactiflora ‘Miss America’)

Miss America Peony

Strikingly fragrant, semi-double flowers emerge from soft pink buds. The blooms of this central and eastern Asia native are large, cup-shaped, and snow-white with golden stamens. This exceptionally hardy, herbaceous, heavy bloomer grows in a lush, bushy mound of glossy, dark green foliage. This low-maintenance variety is excellent for beds and borders.

Color: White

Flowering Season: Late spring to early summer

Height/Width: 2-3 feet/2-3 feet

Sunlight Requirement: Full to partial sun

USDA Zone: 2-8

6. Fairy Princess

Fairy Princess Peony

This dwarf peony unfurls satiny red single blooms with conspicuous golden yellow stamens in the center. It deserves a premium spot on the edge of the spring border. It can also be a great addition to any rock garden. The blooms of this herbaceous peony do not fall down in the rain.

Color: Red

Flowering Season: Late spring to early summer

Height/Width: 1-2 feet/1-2 feet

Sunlight Requirement: Full to partial sun

USDA Zone: 3-9

7. Pink Hawaiian Coral (Paeonia lactiflora ‘Pink Hawaiian Coral’)

Pink Hawaiian Coral Peony

Another central and eastern Asia native, this fast-growing and easy to grow plant showcases fragrant double flowers. Its blossoms changes color from rose-coral to light coral, or almost cream, with a mustard-yellow heart. Along with the blooms, its mounded foliage also makes an excellent presentation in the landscape. Its 5-6 inch blooms open on erect stems. The herbaceous perennial may keep their heavy blossoms out of the mud after a rain. It can be planted as background plant for spring bulbs, or can be used as shrub borders as well.

Color: Pink or rose-coral

Flowering Season: Mid-spring to early summer

Height/Width: 2-3 feet/2-3 feet

Sunlight Requirement: Full sun to partial shade

USDA Zone: 3-8

8. Buckeye Belle (Paeonia x ‘Buckeye Belle’)

Buckeye Belle Peony

This herbaceous, hybrid, perennial variant showcases semi-double, velvety, dark red blooms that are held on sturdy stems. Its dark red outer petals surround the inner petals that are scattered with golden staminodes. This type can be used as a showy spring specimen in mixed shrub borders.

Color: Dark red

Flowering Season: Late spring to early summer

Height/Width: 2-3 feet/2-3 feet

Sunlight Requirement: Full to partial sun

USDA Zone: 3-8

9. Prairie Charm (Paeonia x ‘Prairie Charm’)

Prairie Charm Peony

This vigorous and hardy Itoh peony is a fantastic example of a yellow semi-double blossom peony. The creamy yellow flowers form a large cluster to give the flower heads a wonderful showy look. At the center of this peony are scarlet-colored petals. The petals encircle green carpels, tipped with creamy-white and a ring of long golden stamens. These large flowers sit on the top of long sturdy stems that sit high above the luscious green foliage. Expect to get a whopping peony flowers from a single bush. It is perfect for specimen plant, or as borders or beds, if planted in grooups.

Color: Pale-yellow

Flowering Season: Late spring to early summer

Height/Width: 2-3 feet/3-4 feet

Sunlight Requirement: Full to partial sun

USDA Zone: 4-9

10. First Arrival (Paeonia x ‘First Arrival’)

First Arrival Peony

As its name suggests, it blooms earlier in the season than most of the intersectional peonies in its class. It showcases large, lavender-pink, semi-double blossoms with reddish-purple flares at the base of each petal. The color of these rose-scented flowers fades with time. The sturdy stems of this peony will hold flowers fresh and aloft for two to four weeks, except any storms or hot spells. It is perfect for beds and borders.

Color: Lavender-pink

Flowering Season: Late spring to early summer

Height/Width: 2-3 feet/3-4 feet

Sunlight Requirement: Full to partial sun

USDA Zone: 4-9

11. Charlie’s White (Paeonia lactifolia ‘Charlie’s White’)

Charlie's White Peony

It is an early bloomer double white peony; with white large outer petals that surround globular incurved inner petals. The flowers are mildly fragrant, growing on at top of red mottled stems. Its leaves are dark green, each with 9 lance-shaped, rough margined leaflets. It prefers full sun in cooler climates and partial shade in warmer climates with protection from wind.This herbaceous, showy perennial is best suited for garden borders.

Color: White

Flowering Season: Late spring to mid-summer

Height/Width: 2-3 feet/2-3 feet

Sunlight Requirement: Full to partial sun

USDA Zone: 3-8

12. Raspberry Sundae

Raspberry Sundae Peony

The Chinese Raspberry Sundae has been gracing gardens since 1968. But don’t let the festive pink bomb fool you: This plant is notoriously hardy and has even been known to survive in zone 2 gardens. Many creamy flares enhance the fullness of this flower. Just one cut bloom can be the star of your spring flower arrangement and will add fragrance, too.

Color: Pink

Flowering Season: Late spring to mid-summer

Height/Width: 2-3 feet/2-3 feet

Sunlight Requirement: Full to partial sun

USDA Zone: 3-8

13. Julia Rose

Julia Rose Peony

Another Intersectional peony (Itoh) is the magnificent ‘Julia Rose.’ This type of peony has unique colored petals that change color over time: the bud is cherry red and then it opens to apricot color with purple flushed edging. The showy flowers can appear in different shades of orange and apricot and give off a spicy fragrance. Depending on the type of peony hybrid, flowers can be single blooms or semi-double blooms.

Color: Apricot, purple

Flowering Season: Late spring to mid-summer

Height/Width: 2-3 feet/2-3 feet

Sunlight Requirement: Full to partial sun

USDA Zone: 3-8

14. Lady Alexandra Duff

Lady Alexandra Duff Peony

This beloved, floriferous peony has withstood the test of time. Side buds begin to bloom when the main flower is fully open, producing lots of spectacular, rose-shaped, blush-pink flowers that lighten at their centers. The large, fragrant, double blooms are adorned with delicately ruffled petals and grow on strong stems.

Color: Blush-pink

Flowering Season: Late spring to mid-summer

Height/Width: 2-3 feet/2-3 feet

Sunlight Requirement: Full to partial sun

USDA Zone: 3-8

15. Sword Dance

Sword Dance Peony

It displays a bowl of brilliant red petals surrounding a sparkling center of gleaming yellow staminoides brushed with red highlights. This Japanese-style Herbaceous Peony is a top performer and a real attention-getter in the border. The unusual blooms, superb for cutting, show beautifully against dark green, glossy leaves. They carry a mild fragrance that will follow you into the house.

Color: Red

Flowering Season: Late spring to mid-summer

Height/Width: 2-3 feet/2-3 feet

Sunlight Requirement: Full to partial sun

USDA Zone: 3-8

16. Garden Treasure

Garden Treasure Peony

An herbaceous perennial, producing large, semi-double, lightly fragrant, golden-yellow flowers on strong stems above a compact mound of dark green foliage. Sunny yellow petals turn bright red towards the center. It prefers full sun to dappled shade for optimal growth.

Color: Golden-yellow

Flowering Season: Late spring to mid-summer

Height/Width: 2-3 feet/2-3 feet

Sunlight Requirement: Full to partial sun

USDA Zone: 3-8

17. Festiva Maxima

Paeonia Festiva Maxima
Paeonia Festiva Maxima

Tiny flecks of red or deep pink splash across the airy white petals of this timeless, fragrant peony. It has been a favorite choice for bridal bouquets, centerpieces and gardens since it debuted in the 1850s.

Color: White

Flowering Season: Late spring to mid-summer

Height/Width: 2-3 feet/2-3 feet

Sunlight Requirement: Full to partial sun

USDA Zone: 3-8

18. Fernleaf

Fernleaf Peony

These are vigorous, reliable plants with unique, fine-textured, fern-like foliage. Showy deep red or burgundy flowers appear a little earlier than most other peonies, generally in late spring and early summer.

Color: Red

Flowering Season: Late spring to mid-summer

Height/Width: 2-3 feet/2-3 feet

Sunlight Requirement: Full to partial sun

USDA Zone: 3-8

19. Gay Paree

Gay Paree Peony

This heirloom, dating to the 1930s, resembles Bowl of Beauty but features lush raspberry-red petals that curve around an ivory center.

Color: Raspberry-red

Flowering Season: Late spring to mid-summer

Height/Width: 2-3 feet/2-3 feet

Sunlight Requirement: Full to partial sun

USDA Zone: 3-8

20. Do Tell

Do Tell Peony

This Japanese-style peony, boasts anemone-shaped flowers with a flouncy layer of large, 7”, pale orchid-pink guard petals filled with an explosion of rose, shell-pink and ivory petaloid segments with a bit of a yellow center glow. This herbaceous perrenial is great  for borders and beds.

Color: Pale orchid-pink, shell-pink

Flowering Season: Late spring to mid-summer

Height/Width: 2-3 feet/2-3 feet

Sunlight Requirement: Full to partial sun

USDA Zone: 3-8

21. Pillow Talk

Pillow Talk Peony

This peony has very large pink blooms, is slightly bi-colored, has a satiny texture and has a great aroma. It’s one of the most beautiful peonies on the market, thanks to its sturdy stem and impressive flowers.

Color: Pink

Flowering Season: Late spring to mid-summer

Height/Width: 2-3 feet/2-3 feet

Sunlight Requirement: Full to partial sun

USDA Zone: 3-8

22. Krinkled White

Krinkled White Peony

Charming single flowers with white, delicately-crinkled petal edges, accented by golden centers. Sturdy, straight stems are superb for bouquets. This is also a wonderful specimen for beds and borders.

Color: White

Flowering Season: Late spring to mid-summer

Height/Width: 2-3 feet/2-3 feet

Sunlight Requirement: Full to partial sun

USDA Zone: 3-8

23. Green Halo

Green Halo Peony

The ‘Green Halo’ semi-double peony is so-called due to the light-green frilly petals surrounding a tuft of ruffled white petals and yellow center. This cultivar from the Paeonia lactiflora series produces flowers 8” (20 cm) across and gives off a pleasant floral fragrance. These sturdy flowers can make a beautiful addition to any cut flower display.

Color: White and green

Flowering Season: Late spring to mid-summer

Height/Width: 2-3 feet/2-3 feet

Sunlight Requirement: Full to partial sun

USDA Zone: 3-8

24. Big Ben

Big Ben Peony

The large magenta or red flowers and delightful fragrance are two of the attractive features of the ‘Big Ben’ peony. This double-flowered peony is a perennial from the Paeonia lactiflora species. The large flower heads have stunning disheveled petals and look fantastic as cut flowers in a vase.

Color: Magenta or red

Flowering Season: Late spring to mid-summer

Height/Width: 2-3 feet/2-3 feet

Sunlight Requirement: Full to partial sun

USDA Zone: 3-8

25. Pink Derby

Pink Derby Peony

Huge double blossoms on this peony is the striking feature of this herbaceous plant. The multi-layers of pink and lilac petals have a very elegant look with a large cluster of ruffled petals in the center. Some varieties of ‘Pink Derby’ can also produce white colored flowers that bloom at the end of spring. Due to the sheer number of large bomb peony flowers, you may need to stalk the peony to give it support.

Color: Pink and lilac

Flowering Season: Late spring to mid-summer

Height/Width: 2-3 feet/2-3 feet

Sunlight Requirement: Full to partial sun

USDA Zone: 3-8

Popular Peony Varieties based on Color and Availability

Pink Peonies: Gay Paree, Big Ben, Bowl of Beauty

White Peonies: Krinkled White, Festiva Maxima, Miss America

Yellow Peonies: Bartzella, Prairie Charm, Garden Treasure

Purple Peonies: Morning Lilac, Shimadaijin, Peter Brand

Blue Peonies: Seeing Blue

Blush Peonies: Victorian Blush, Lady Alexandra Duff, Blush Queen

Burgundy/Dark Red Peonies: Fairy Princess, Buckeye Belle, Fernleaf

Rare Peonies: Anna, Baby Face, Blitz Tort

by | Updated: March 1, 2022

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