Indiana State Flower
Peony (common name)
Paeonia lactiflora (scientific name)
Adopted in 1957, the peony is Indiana’s fourth state flower. Though it’s not native to the state, it has managed to remain the official flower for over 50 years, unlike its predecessors the carnation, the tulip tree blossom, and the zinnia. Peonies are the only plants in the Paeoniaceae family. These perennial dicots grow in the wild but are popular bedding plants in many areas because of their symmetrical, showy flowers, which grow singly but are large. Single peonies have a few petals, usually five or 10, which fan out around a large cluster of yellow stamens. Semi-double peonies have more petals, but the central cluster of stamens is still visible. Double peonies, the ones most commonly seen in American gardens, are round and many-petaled red, pink, or creamy white balls and often have a sweet fragrance.
The low bushes have green stems that grow two to three feet high from thick, irregular-shaped roots. Leaves are normally a matte dark green and split into three lobes. Each is further split into three additional lobes. In the wild, peonies prefer wooded mountainsides. Peonies flower in late spring to early summer. The flowers fade as weather gets hot, but the leaves remain until autumn. Stems do not die back, but most peony bushes are only two or three feet (.6-1 m) high. Most garden varieties of hybrid peonies do not grow from seeds. Some varieties, however, produce three- or five-lobed reddish seed pods that split open to reveal shiny, reddish-brown seeds.
Mature Height: 2–3 ft (.6-1 m)
Flowers: 2.5–4 in (6–10 cm)
Flower Color: Red, pink, or white
Leaves: 3–4 in (7.5–10 cm) long with three lobes on succulent stems
Fruit/Seed Color: Reddish brown
Location: Rich, loose soil in full sun or partial shade.
Range: Asia, southern Europe, and western North America.
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|Author: World Trade Press|