Paeonia x suffruticosa is a hybrid, tree peony. It is an upright shrub and is sparsely branched. It is part of the Paeoniaceae family of plants and originates in China. Suffruticosa is a compound name where “fruticosa” means shrub-like.
They cultivated Paeonia x suffruticosa over many years, in China where they call it Mudan or 牡丹 in Chinese. They cultivated Mudan as a source of traditional medicine. Its parentage includes Paeonia cathayana as well as others identified in DNA studies. The larger part of it being Paeonia rockii.
Paeonia x suffruticosa are slow growers. The stems are woody which helps them survive the winter cold. The leaves are branched with long lobes. The flowers are large and semi-double. Paeonia x suffruticosa flowers in spring and summer.
How to grow Paeonia x suffruticosa:
Grow it in the sun or partial shade. Plant it in humus-rich, fertile, moist but well-drained soil. Shelter it from strong wind and the cold. Propagate Paeonia x suffruticosa by semi-ripe cuttings and grafting.
It is slow to establish and flowers after three years. Paeonia x suffruticosa does not require much pruning. Remove damaged branches only. Watch out for eelworm, honey fungus, peony wilt, or fungal leaf spot.