Paeonia 'Big Ben'
Plant Common Name
Big Ben Herbaceous Peony, Herbaceous Peony
The large, fragrant, fully double flowers of 'Big Ben' are deepest rose red and appear early in the season. This old American selection was bred by Edward Auten Jr. of Princeville, Illinois in 1943. Like most double peonies, the flowers are heavy and should be staked to keep them from flopping in inclement weather.
The herbaceous peony is an all-time garden favorite. This large, bushy perennial originates from eastern Asia and has been bred for thousands of years. There are literally hundreds of wonderful cultivars available, and plants are commonly sold in catalogs because their fleshy rooted crowns are easy to store and ship.
The large, showy, bomb-type flowers of 'Big Ben' appear in spring and have many petals of rose red. The fragrant flowers appear on stout stems above tall, vigorous plants. The sweetness of the blooms tends to attract ants, which can be found climbing the stems to gather nectar from the round, bulbous, unopened peony buds.
Peonies grow best in full to partial sun and well-drained, fertile soil. Large-flowered varieties tend to have very heavy flowers and may require staking. These old-fashioned perennials are very long-lived and have been known to survive in gardens for over 100-years. Plant them in foundation plantings or any floral border.
AHS Heat Zone
8 - 1
USDA Hardiness Zone
4 - 8
A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22
Full Sun, Partial Sun
4'-5' / 1.2m - 1.5m
3'-4' / 0.9m - 1.2m
Spring, Late Spring
Hybrid Origin, Asia
Clay, Loam, Sand