Unique Peony – Discovering Uncommon Peony Varieties

A stunning bouquet of peonies set against lush green foliage.Uncovering the beauty of lesser-known peony varieties can be a delightful challenge for avid gardeners. With centuries of history, this flower species boasts an impressive diversity far beyond its popular types like Sarah Bernhardt or Coral Sunset.

This article will guide you on a journey through the world of unique peonies, revealing some stunning yet uncommon gems that could become the star attraction in your garden. Ready to discover these botanical wonders?.

Key Takeaways

  • Discover the beauty of lesser – known peony varieties that go beyond popular types like Sarah Bernhardt and Coral Sunset.
  • The most requested peony varieties include Sarah Bernhardt, Festiva Maxima, Coral Sunset, Kansas, and Bowl of Beauty.
  • Explore unique peony varieties such as Chocolate Soldier, Bartzella, Fern Leaf, Green Halo, and Honey Gold for a standout addition to your garden.
  • Learn about uncommon peonies in various colors including pink (Algerian Peony, Anomaly Peony), white (Clusius’s Peony, Himalayan Peony), red (California Peony, Balkan Peony), and even brown (Western Peony, Greek Peony) options.

Most Requested Peony Varieties

A stunning bouquet of peonies in vibrant colors.The most requested peony varieties include Sarah Bernhardt, Festiva Maxima, Coral Sunset, Kansas, and Bowl of Beauty.

Sarah Bernhardt

The Sarah Bernhardt peony, a vision of striking pastel pink double flowers, is the poster child for all peonies worldwide. Launched in 1906, this variety quickly became an enduring favorite due to its exceptional beauty and delightful fragrance.

Boasting a rose or bomb shape depending on classifications, it’s not only a hit with gardeners but also makes frequent appearances in the floral industry as a dependable cut flower.

As one of the most cultivated varieties across Europe, the USA, and China, Sarah Bernhardt continues to be highly sought by plant enthusiasts and even comes available as bulbs for those looking to add this lovely specimen to their own gardens.

Festiva Maxima

Festiva Maxima is a unique peony variety treasured by many for over 150 years. This floral gem, scientifically known as Paeonia lactiflora ‘Festiva Maxima’, sets itself apart with its lush double white petals and striking flecks of red.

Known to be a vigorous and long-lived plant, Festiva Maxima presents abundant blossoms that become the stars of gardens and vases alike.

Not only are these flowers stunning in appearance, but they also emit a strong fragrance that appeals to senses beyond just sight. Being part of the lactiflora group of peonies, Festiva Maximas prove resistant to pests making them easy for gardeners and commercial growers to maintain.

Whether you’re adding beauty or scent to your surroundings or looking out for low-maintenance plantation options, this unique peony has been winning hearts since its emergence—the true testament is its status as an award-winning flower variety!

Coral Sunset

Coral Sunset has been charming peony enthusiasts since its introduction in 1965, standing out as a unique peony with its uncommon hue. This variety bears large, semi-double, bowl-shaped flowers that can reach up to 20 cm in size, adorned with gorgeous yellow stamens.

Opening up in late spring and among the earliest blooming varieties, Coral Sunset’s petals start off as vibrant orange and eventually transform into an elegant salmon color. Its heavenly fragrance is just the icing on the cake! With such distinct features and colors that shift like a sunset itself, there’s no wonder why this beauty continues to be one of the most requested peony varieties worldwide.


Kansas is a stunning and highly sought-after peony variety that has captivated flower enthusiasts with its vibrant beauty. With dark leaves and red stems, Kansas stands out in any garden or floral arrangement.

Its double red flowers bloom in the shape of a rose, with loose frilly petals that reach an impressive size of 8 inches across. This Gold Medal Winner from the American Peony Society features watermelon red petals that retain their intense color, making it a showstopper among peony cultivars.

Not only are its blooms full and fade-resistant, but Kansas also boasts exceptionally strong stems that can support these vivid crimson flowers. While not necessarily fragrant, Kansas peonies can be grown in containers for those who want to bring this unique variety indoors.

Bowl of Beauty

The ‘Bowl of Beauty’ peony is a Chinese variety that has become incredibly popular due to its stunning beauty. Its large, anemone-shaped blossoms feature rose-colored outer petals and creamy yellowish-white centers.

This single bloom peony is not only visually striking but also known for its lovely fragrance. It’s no wonder why ‘Bowl of Beauty’ is often requested and highly prized as a cutting flower.

So if you’re looking to add something truly unique to your garden, this exceptional peony variety should definitely be on your list!

Lesser Known Gem Peony Varieties

Vibrant bouquet of peonies in a garden captured with a DSLR.Some lesser-known gem peony varieties include Chocolate Soldier, Bartzella, Fern Leaf, Green Halo, and Honey Gold.

Chocolate Soldier

One unique peony variety that stands out is the ‘Chocolate Soldier’. Known for its dark brownish-red flowers, this hybrid peony is considered one of the darkest available. Its velvety texture and distinctive chocolate red coloring make it a standout in any garden.

With deep green leaves that turn bronze when young, ‘Chocolate Soldier’ blooms in midseason with semi-double and deeply cupped flowers. It’s a hard-to-find variety, adding color and drama to ornamental borders in late spring and early summer.

The satiny petals of the ‘Chocolate Soldier’ are truly a rare gem among peonies.


Bartzella is a unique and stunning peony variety that deserves recognition among the lesser-known gem peonies. This intersectional or Itoh peony combines the best characteristics of both tree and herbaceous peonies, making it a strong grower that is resistant to deer.

With its above-average blooming ability, Bartzella produces large, golden yellow, semi to fully double flowers that are streaked with crimson red at the center. Its foliage resembles that of tree peonies but has a robust and herbaceous quality.

Named after a friend of renowned peony breeder Roger Anderson, Bartzella adds to the exciting discovery of uncommon and beautiful peony varieties.

Fern Leaf

Fernleaf peonies are a unique and lesser-known variety that adds a touch of elegance to any garden. With their delicate, fern-like foliage and deep red double blooms, these early-blooming flowers are sure to catch the eye.

Hollingsworth Peonies in Missouri is a renowned grower of fernleaf peonies, offering various colors for purchase as plants or roots. Some notable varieties include the Jacorma and Moonstone, both known for their exceptional beauty.

Whether you’re an avid gardener or simply appreciate the beauty of unique blooms, fernleaf peonies are definitely worth exploring.

Green Halo

The Green Halo Peony is a hidden gem among peony varieties. With its unique flower form and distinctive coloring, it’s no wonder why this variety is highly sought after by peony enthusiasts.

The Green Halo Peony features chartreuse fringed outer petals that surround a ruffled creamy double-ball shaped center. What makes this peony truly special is the tuft of white petals that emerge from a green guard-petal base, creating a stunning contrast of colors.

Classified as a semi-double blossom, the Green Halo Peony stands out with its big and thick outer guard petals that have a hint of green. While lesser-known compared to other popular varieties, such as Sarah Bernhardt or Festiva Maxima, the Green Halo Peony is definitely worth discovering for its unique beauty and charm in any garden or floral arrangement.

Honey Gold

Honey Gold is a lesser-known gem peony variety that stands out for its unique Japanese form flowers. Its large creamy white guard petals give it a charming appearance, while the golden-yellow center adds a vibrant touch.

Not only are Honey Gold peonies delightfully fragrant, but they also make a beautiful addition to borders, gardens, and floral arrangements due to their attractive color combination.

These long-lived flowers can produce up to 9″ white and yellow blooms with well-formed guard petals. With new growth showcased in its foliage, Honey Gold is definitely worth exploring among the world of uncommon peony varieties.

Unique Peony Varieties by Color

Pink Peonies include Algerian Peony, Anomaly Peony, and more.

Pink Peonies (Algerian Peony, Anomaly Peony, etc.)

Pink peonies, such as Algerian Peony and Anomaly Peony, are unique peonies that add a touch of elegance to any garden or floral arrangement. These pink varieties are known for their soft and delicate petals, ranging from light blush to vibrant shades of pink. Pink peonies symbolize romance, elegance, honor, wealth, and abundance. They are popular choices for weddings and special occasions due to their beautiful appearance and symbolic meaning. Pink peonies with their lush blooms are sure to make a statement in any garden or bouquet.

White Peonies (Clusius’s Peony, Himalayan Peony, etc.)

White peonies are a stunning addition to any garden. Here are some popular varieties:

  • Clusius’s Peony: This white peony variety is named after Carolus Clusius, a renowned botanist from the 16th century. It features large, double blooms with a creamy white color.
  • Himalayan Peony: As the name suggests, this variety is native to the Himalayan region. It has pure white flowers that can reach up to 8 inches in diameter.
  • Amalia Olson: This white peony variety is known for its ruffled petals and delicate fragrance. Its blooms open to reveal layers of creamy white petals.
  • Duchesse de Nemours: Another beloved white peony, Duchesse de Nemours has a classic, elegant look with fully double flowers. Its pure white petals have a hint of cream towards the center.
  • Marie Lemoine: This old-fashioned white peony has unique pale yellow undertones that give its blooms a soft and romantic feel.

Red Peonies (California Peony, Balkan Peony, etc.)

Red peonies are a popular choice for adding a bold pop of color to gardens and floral arrangements. Here are some unique red peony varieties to consider:

  • California Peony: This North American native peony features vibrant red blooms with ruffled petals. It is known for its sturdy stems and large, showy flowers.
  • Balkan Peony: Hailing from the Balkan region, this peony variety showcases deep red flowers with a lovely fragrance. Its striking blooms make it a standout in any garden.
  • Red Charm: With its rich, crimson-red petals, Red Charm is a classic choice for red peony lovers. This herbaceous variety has strong stems that support its lush, double flowers.
  • James Pillow: Another stunning red peony, James Pillow features deep burgundy petals that unfold into exquisite rosettes. Its dark flowers create a dramatic focal point in any landscape.
  • Karl Rosenfield: This well-known peony variety boasts large, double blooms in a vibrant shade of red. Its strong stems make it an ideal cut flower option for bouquets and arrangements.

Brown Peonies (Western Peony, Greek Peony, etc.)

Brown peonies, including Western Peony and Greek Peony, are unique varieties that offer a different color option in the peony family. Here are some interesting facts about brown peonies:

  • Brown’s peony, or Paeonia brownii, has compound leaves with a steely – gray hue and small drooping maroon flowers.
  • California peony (Paeonia californica) is another native North American species with unique brown flowers.
  • These brown peony varieties add a touch of warmth and richness to floral arrangements.
  • Brown peonies can be a great choice for those looking for something different and unexpected in their garden or bouquet.
  • The combination of the brown petals with the abundant yellow stamens creates an intriguing contrast in these flowers.

Peonies in Multiple Colors (Molly the Witch, Japanese Forest Peony, etc.)

  • Molly the Witch: This unique peony variety features flowers that change color as they bloom, starting off as deep red or purple and gradually fading to a lighter shade of pink or white.
  • Japanese Forest Peony: With its delicate, ruffled petals in shades of pink and white, this peony variety resembles a blooming cherry blossom tree. It is known for its graceful and romantic appearance.
  • Pink Hawaiian Coral: This peony variety has stunning coral-pink blooms with a touch of yellow at the center. Its vibrant color makes it a popular choice for bouquets and arrangements.
  • Garden Treasure: This peony variety showcases multiple colors within each flower, ranging from pale yellow to deep apricot and even hints of pink. The unique combination of colors creates a visually striking display in any garden.
  • Raspberry Sundae: As the name suggests, this peony variety features flowers that resemble scoops of raspberry and vanilla ice cream. The outer petals are deep burgundy, while the inner petals are creamy white, creating a beautiful contrast.

Yellow Peonies (Tree Peony, etc.)

Yellow peonies are a stunning addition to any perennial flower garden. Here are some unique yellow peony varieties to consider:

  1. Tree Peony: These yellow peonies, with their woody stems and large, showy flowers, add height and drama to the garden.
  2. Bartzella: This hybrid yellow peony is known for its striking lemon-yellow petals and pleasant citrus scent.
  3. Goldilocks: With its buttery yellow blooms and strong stems, this yellow peony is a favorite among gardeners.
  4. Lemon Chiffon: This variety features delicate lemon-yellow petals that fade to creamy white towards the center of the flower.
  5. Canary Brilliants: These yellow peonies have ruffled petals in shades of bright yellow, adding a lively touch to any garden.
  6. Krishna Nirvana: With its dark golden-yellow petals and red center, this variety stands out in the garden.
  7. Lemon Dream: This double-flowered variety has soft lemon-yellow petals and a sweet fragrance.
  8. Sonoma YeDo: A unique combination of pale yellow and cream-colored petals makes this variety truly eye-catching.
  9. Garden Treasure: Known for its striking golden-yellow blooms, this variety adds a vibrant splash of color to any landscape.
  10. Butter Bowl: The large, fragrant flowers of this yellow peony have ruffled buttery-yellow petals that are simply stunning.


In conclusion, exploring the world of unique peony varieties is like uncovering hidden treasures in a colorful garden. From lesser-known gems to stunning blooms in every hue, these uncommon peonies offer a delightful twist on the traditional favorites.

So go ahead and embrace the beauty and diversity that this majestic flower has to offer, because there’s always something new waiting to be discovered in the enchanting world of peonies.


1. What makes a peony variety unique?

Unique peony varieties are characterized by their distinct colors, patterns, shapes, and sizes. They may have rare or uncommon features that set them apart from traditional peonies.

2. How can I discover uncommon peony varieties?

You can discover uncommon peony varieties by exploring specialty nurseries, attending flower shows or gardening expos, joining online forums or communities dedicated to peonies, and seeking recommendations from experienced gardeners or horticulturists.

3. Are unique peony varieties harder to grow than traditional ones?

While some unique peony varieties may require specific care due to their distinctive characteristics, the level of difficulty in growing them can vary. It is important to research the specific needs and requirements of each variety before planting to ensure successful growth.

4. Can I order unique peony varieties online?

Yes, many nurseries and online retailers offer a wide selection of unique peony varieties for purchase. When ordering online, it is essential to choose reputable sellers who provide detailed information about the plants’ characteristics and proper care instructions.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *