Paeonia anomala

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 a 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.

Paeonia anomala
Paeonia anomala

How to grow Paeonia anomala:

Growing and caring for Paeonia anomala, commonly known as the Anomalous Peony, requires some specific considerations to ensure its successful growth and blooming. Follow these care instructions to cultivate healthy and vibrant Paeonia anomala plants:

Sun and Shade: Paeonia anomala thrives in both full sun and partial shade. Provide a location in your garden that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day. If planting in hotter regions, partial shade during the hottest part of the day can be beneficial to prevent stress on the plants.

Soil Requirements: Plant Paeonia anomala in rich, fertile soil that is moist but well-drained. The soil should have a neutral pH level. Ensure good drainage to prevent waterlogged conditions, as excessive moisture can lead to root rot and other fungal diseases.

Paeonia anomala can adapt to various soil types, but different soil compositions may affect flowering performance. Sandy soils tend to produce fewer flowers, while clay soils are known to promote the growth of larger, more impressive blooms. If your soil tends to be sandy, consider enriching it with organic matter and providing supplemental nutrition to support optimal flowering.

Cold Winter Requirement: Paeonia anomala needs cold winters in order to go through its natural regeneration process and produce abundant blooms. Therefore, it is best suited for regions with cold winter climates. These cold temperatures stimulate bud formation and enhance the overall flowering performance of the plant.

Avoid Disturbance: Peonies, including Paeonia anomala, do not appreciate frequent transplanting or disturbance. Once planted, it is advisable to choose a permanent location where the plants can remain undisturbed for an extended period. This allows them to establish deep root systems and ensures consistent flowering year after year.

Paeonia anomala
Paeonia anomala


Paeonia anomala can be propagated from both seeds and division. To propagate from seeds, collect mature seeds from the plant after the flowering season. Sow the seeds in a well-prepared seedbed or containers and provide the necessary care until they are ready for transplantation. Division involves separating the plant into smaller sections, ensuring each section has viable roots and at least one bud or shoot. Spring or early fall is the ideal time for dividing Paeonia anomala.

Medicinal Uses: Paeonia anomala has a rich history of traditional medicinal uses. The roots of this peony species have been consumed by the Khakas people in Siberia and utilized for medicinal purposes in Mongolia and Chinese medicine. In Chinese medicine, the root is known for its astringent properties. While not typically cultivated for medicinal purposes in home gardens, it is interesting to appreciate the historical significance and cultural uses of this plant.

By following these care instructions, you can cultivate healthy and thriving Paeonia anomala plants, enjoying their beautiful blooms and connecting with the rich cultural heritage associated with this fascinating peony species.

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