December 14, 2019

Terrific Tapestry

Paeonia suffruticosa 'Kamatanishiki'

Mark Uchneat Photo | Paeonia suffruticosa ‘Kamatanishiki’

There’s nothing like a tree peony to put on a show, dropping jaws with its impressive flowers. So it is with Paeonia suffruticosa ‘Kamatanishiki,’ introduced from Japan in 1893. Described as wisteria-blue for hue, the semi-double flowers have a sheen that shines when the plant blossoms in spring, usually a couple of weeks before the herbaceous varieties begin their display. This tree peony is hardy to Zone 4, possibly Zone 3, and can grow to an impressive 5 feet in height with a width of up to 4 feet. And while a tree peony isn’t a tree, it does have a woody stem that remains all year long, instead of dying back in the fall. As for the name, it translates to Kamata Tapestry or Kamata Brocade, a fitting description for such a magnificently wrought bloom.

Photographed by Mark Uchneat.