Herbaceous peonies, scientifically known as Paeonia sp., are the aristocrats of the gardening world. These large-flowered, long-lived plants (often easily outliving their original planters) should be included in everyone’s garden.
They have been under cultivation for centuries in China, resulting in an astounding array of color and flower form. In southern latitudes, they generally bloom in May, but in Alaska, they usually start to bloom in late June and then continue through summer. This later bloom period has given rise to an emerging cut-flower industry in the state due in part, to the research led by Doctor Pat Holloway of the University of Alaska Fairbanks.