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PAEONIA lactiflora 'Laura Dessert'

Image of Paeonia lactiflora 'Laura Dessert'

James H. Schutte

Family

Paeoniaceae

Botanical Name

PAEONIA lactiflora 'Laura Dessert'

Plant Common Name

Garden Peony, Herbaceous Peony

General Description

The fragrant, creamy, double blooms of this "anemone-flowered" peony are borne on strong medium-tall stems in mid- to late-spring, relatively early in the peony season. It is one of hundreds of cultivars of Paeonia lactiflora, a large, bushy, tuberous perennial from East Asia that has been cultivated and treasured for thousands of years.

The pale ivory-pink petals of this 1913 introduction open to expose a central pompon of numerous narrow, pale-yellow "petaloids." The outer petals fade to white after opening. Bees, ants, and the occasional butterfly visit the flowers. This strong-stemmed, flop-resistant peony has large, rich green, divided leaves that often turn bronze tones 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. Use them in foundation plantings or any floral border. They make voluptuous cut flowers. Although more flop resistant than most double-flowered peonies, 'Laura Dessert' may need staking.

Divide plants every 3 or 4 years in early autumn or as shoots break ground in spring. Plant divisions at a finger's-width depth; plants set too deep will not flower.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    30"-34" / 76.2cm - 86.4cm

  • Width

    2'-4' / 0.6m - 1.2m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring

  • Native To

    Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Light Yellow, Ivory

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Bronze

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Bronze

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Double

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Cutflower, Feature Plant, Foundation, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No