May        Lee
Home            Painting            Photography            Calligraphy          About the Artist                 Contact Us
Back to Home of Selected Articles
Back to Home of
Tree Peony Garden
The peony we generally think of dies off every fall to the ground and grow up again next spring. Tree peony was getting popular since the 80's and
was available from a few catalogues. Now there are a few Tree Peony nurseries in US, making it available to the Tree Peony lovers. Tree peony has
woody stems and bud sprung in spring with leaves, then flower buds grow like a Hershey Kiss shape, then bloom in May, the giant 8" to 12" King of the
flowers. The Chinese name for peony is ShaoYao
芍藥.Tree Peony is called MuDan,牡丹,totally different name. Tree peony can be propagated either
by seed or grafting onto peony root stocks.

Tree peonies are temperate plants bloom around mother's day. This May I visited a wonderful Tree Peony Garden near Penn State University. The
vast numbers of varieties (200 plus) covers varieties developed in Japan, China and America. The owner, an entomology and nematology Ph.D., is
doing his own breeding and plan to have new varieties developed in the near future. His source of material comes from worldwide So the new varieties
will be selected from this extensively collection, the widest in US.

The photos are sorted by colors. Unfortunately in the excitement of shooting, I missed most of the labels of varietal name, But I am Sure the owner
recognizes each flower, just describe the color and number on this site when you order or question, it won't be mistaken.

After visiting this garden, I was inspired to grow more tree peonies, to paint Mudan as a Mudan lover and to take better care of my garden. That's the
inspiration of a master gardener.

Check out their website:
As we approach the two hundred some acre garden, we saw first a dairy farm from the road. The cows were staying in the shade, later they filed
back to the barn to be fed.
Then we were greeted by 30 feet bed of white peonies waving in the breeze. What a welcome!
Later we found out these are FengDanBei,
鳳丹白,which are used for herbal medicine, often used
in treating menstral irregularity. Below is a section of the bed.
Several hundred feet around the house are beds of
more established tree peonies, one of a kind, may be
hundred or so varieties. Japanese varieties in the
west, and Chinese varieties in the east. Every one
blooming, every one great. My heart was tickled with
A) The following are taken around the
house. Three Pink varieties.
This pink one with dark spots at the base of the patels, came from a North West province, GanSu of China. Notice the two earlier blooms were cut.
This pink one will be considered "Single", Much fewer petals.
This one was left to grow to five feet or so, typical of the way Mutan are grown south of Yangtze. It was called JiangNan MuDan,江南牡丹.
A)From Flower beds around the house. Deep Pink.
A)  Tree Peony Bed Area
a Coral colored variety
South of the Peony garden are vegetable garden, Asparagus, giant onion, and rarities
A) Tree Peony Bed Area
Have you seen this color before? I have not. This Chinese red is rare, but here  it is not rare.
A) Tree Peony Bed Area
This is "Black"
A) Tree Peony Bed Area
A) Tree Peony Bed Area (front of Bay window)
 Wei Huang, a fifteen hundred years old variety.                                                          
A) Tree Peony Bed Area
A) Tree Peony Bed Area
    White with red stigma
A) Tree Peony Bed Area
    Red-White varigated, A new one to me.
South of the Vegetable garden, a Little distance away, is the nursery. There are more varieties there.
B) Tree Peony Nursery Area {From here on short as "B)"}
    Pinks                5 flowers on one little plant? Unbelievable!
A High profiled flower form, One of characteristic
forms from China. This form is called "Crown".
B) This variety have highly cut petals, called "Anemone form". I have seen this form in Painting of Yun ShoPing(1633-1690惲壽平. He wasn't exaggerating.
B) Pink with dark spots in the center, see the next three pictures.
B) Deep Pink.
B) Chinese Red
B) Deep Red or Black
B) Green Flowers-  It turns white or pink as they reach full bloom.
B) Lavender
B) Lavender, white and variegated, The white bags are protection for the pollinated pistil to receive the intended pollens only.
B) Levender, Pink and Red.
B) Dark Purple
B) White
B) White with Dark Pink Center.
B) White, Maroon spot and high profiled.
B) White with a Maroon center.
The nursery is rows and rows tree peony, so many and every one beautiful. This made taking representative photos difficult.
If you are interested or have questions, please visit:                0r call:814-360-5827
Back to Home page of