James H. Schutte
PAEONIA lactiflora 'Alsace Lorraine'
Plant Common Name
Garden Peony, Herbaceous Peony
Bearing large, snowy, double blooms midway to late in the peony season, this 1906 introduction is rarely grown today. It is a highly bred selection of Paeonia lactiflora, a large, bushy, tuberous perennial from East Asia that has been cultivated and treasured for thousands of years.
The dome-shaped blooms of this heirloom peony appear on willowy, medium-tall, sparsely leaved stems in late spring to early summer. The flowers are bitterly fragrant. Each blossom has a collar of large white "guard" petals surrounding a central mass of ruffled, creamy-white, petal-like segments. The petals and segments have rounded, slightly cupped tips. Bees, ants, and the occasional butterfly visit the blooms. The rather bold, divided, dark green leaves turn maroon and bronze in fall.
Peonies grow best in full to partial sun and well-drained, fertile soil. 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. Peony blooms make outstanding cut flowers. Flowering stems of this cultivar will sprawl if not staked.
Divide plants in early autumn or as shoots break ground in spring. Divide every 3 to 4 years to keep plants vigorous. Plant divisions at a finger's-width depth; plants set too deep will not flower.
AHS Heat Zone
8 - 1
USDA Hardiness Zone
3 - 9
A1, A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20
Full Sun, Partial Sun
28"-34" / 71.1cm - 86.4cm
2'-4' / 0.6m - 1.2m
Late Spring, Early Summer