Peonies of this group make deciduous stems (die to the ground at the end of the growing season) and grow back from below ground buds each spring. The term hybrid denotes those sorts having two or more of the botanical species in their ancestry.
Many of the cultivars we list in the "Early" group feature pastel flower colors, a legacy of the Mloko species (Paeonia mlokosewitchi). These often have a colorful flare at each petal base and highlights of red, red-purple or pink at the center, especially appealing in floral design. The flowers are little affected by rainfall, while affording a lasting accent in the cool temperatures of early spring. Vigor and excellent performance are characteristic. Bush size ranges from short to tall, sometimes spreading, sometimes very erect, often with large leaflets which hold up well throughout the growing season the legacy of big-leaf peony ancestry (P. macrophylla). Others have notably slender leaflets, almost always from P. tenuifolia ancestry, the fern leaf peony. All of the items below can be considered good landscapers within the noted cautions. Some will be tagged Best Landscaper.