James H. Schutte
PAEONIA lactiflora 'Laura Dessert'
Plant Common Name
Garden Peony, Herbaceous Peony
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.
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
30"-34" / 76.2cm - 86.4cm
2'-4' / 0.6m - 1.2m
Spring, Late Spring