The perennial Peony hybrid, Paeonia x, provides a very long season of interest in many conditions. It grows well in full to part sun, and it is reliably deer resistant. It is commanding, growing to 2 ½ feet tall by 2-3 feet wide, making a good specimen, or it can be used to fill in borders.
It produces very large fragrant blooms in mid to late spring, in shades of white, pink, or red, and the flowers are excellent for cutting (but they can harbor ants). Particularly noteworthy is the plant’s large dark green cut leaves that are attractive through the summer after the blooms have faded.
The plant can be divided every two to three years, and it rejuvenates easily. It is generally trouble-free. It can get a powdery mildew in the fall, about the time you’d want to cut the leaves back anyhow.
Very large plants can benefit from placement of little cages/stakes around them to keep them upright. This is a very desirable plant, evocative of times past, that is essential for the cottage garden, but useful in most any other type. It should not be confused with the tree peony, which has different planting and cultural requirements.