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|About Herbaceous Peonies|
also see: Herbaceous Peony Catalog | Peony Culture
Herbaceous peonies are ideal plants for the north and are extremely hardy in our difficult climate. The plants are extremely long lived with some basic care and should provide a lifetime of enjoyment.
We have chosen to concentrate our offerings on newer and better performing types, rather than the wide variety commonly available. Many of our cultivars are bred, born and grown at the farm. These new cultivars are valuable to gardeners, collectors and hybridizers for a number of attributes. Our advanced generation hybrids are often fertile (for those interested in hybridizing) and have a wide range of genetic material in their backgrounds. The flowers are often quite unique and plant habits tend to be superior in comparison to older varieties on the market. Solaris Farms grows limited quantities of any one cultivar, thus supplies are often short!
Herbaceous peonies consist of a crown, which the stems arise from and have a heavy tuberous root system. The plants are drought resistant due to their water storing capabilities and are quite at home on most well drained soils. Please see our Culture & Care page for further growing information.
Roots are harvested in the fall of the year and sent to customers shortly after digging. See our Product Size page for further information.
The lactiflora cultivars are a long grown group of selections of the same species (lactiflora). Flower form, size, color, and structure vary widely and many are quite stunning. Nearly all flowers in this group are fragrant, some much more than others. This group is what most people envision a peony to be and are familiar with. Grandmother likely grew these plants for cutting in bouquets. Ants are sometimes found on these flowers, but this should not stop one from growing them. A number of myths concerning ants on lactiflora peonies are still widely believed by many gardeners...1) The ants help open the flowers or help them bloom--FALSE. 2) Peonies grown near the house will cause ants to come inside--FALSE (the ants may end up in the house as stowaways on cut flowers, but are of a species that will not live in the house and will search for a way to escape). Many of the plants need some support, as their heavy flowers often lean or lie on the ground with their weight. Some newer cultivars have been developed that need no assistance in this regard and are noted as such in the catalog. Their typical bloom period is at the end of the peony season, in Wisconsin that generally means June.
The hybrids are the newest kids on the block and possess a wide range of colors, forms and plant habits. Few have the fragrance of the lactifloras. Plant habit is often superior, as stem strength allows flowers to be held upright, thus making them better plants for viewing and growing in the garden. Foliage and growth habits are also quite diverse among the hybrids. Lacey fern-like foliage to large rounded leaves are not unusual within the hybrids. Even the root systems have their own odd characteristics. Roots can be long and narrow or be bulbous with long narrow necks and everything in between. Some cultivars within the hybrid group even have colored roots of lavender or yellow. Most gardeners are not familiar with this group, but will certainly want them in their gardens once they are seen in bloom!
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