Paeonia anomala is part of the Paeoniaceae family of plants. It is a hardy, herbaceous perennial native from Northern European Russia to northern Mongolia and Siberia. They also call it the Anomalous Peony.
Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778), the Swedish botanist, first described this plant in 1771. Recent DNA testing Paeonia anomala is a cross between P. lactiflora and P. veitchii. Peonies are one of the longest-living perennials. They could live as long as hundred years.
The foliage is dark green with hairy veins, slightly duller on the backside. They are alternatively arranged. Paeonia anomala grows to about 1m or 3ft tall. It flowers in late spring into early summer. The flowers are single, slightly nodding, cup-shaped, and maroon or deep pink/magenta in color. They are about 10cm or 4in wide. It has rounded and wavy petals and yellow centers with prominent stamens.
How to grow Paeonia anomala:
Grow Paeonia anomala in the sun or partial shade. Plant it rich, moist but well-drained soil that is pH neutral. This plant needs cold winters in order to regenerate and flower. Peonies do not like to be disturbed. Place them where you can let them stay for a long time. Sandy soils tend to produce fewer flowers whereas clay soils produce larger better flowers. Propagate from seed or division.
Khakas people in Siberia consumed Paeonia anomala roots. In Mongolia, they use the fruit and root for medicinal purposes. The root of peony is used in Chinese medicine, it is considered an astringent.