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Classic white peonies are one of springtime’s favorite flowers. Fortunately, there are quite a few different varieties to grow in your garden or find at a local florist or flower farmer. Read on to discover the best white peonies to enjoy this upcoming peony season.
1. Duchesse de Nemours peony
Duchesse de Nemours Peony is the most popular white peony variety. This French heirloom is a full double white peony with gorgeous layers of fluffy white petals. Each Duchesse de Nemours flower measures 5″-6″ across, and are so packed with petals that they are nearly ball-shaped (although slightly flattened). The foliage is dark green and highly ornamental.
The Duchesse de Nemours Peony (Paeonia lactiflora ‘Duchesse de Nemours’) can be grown in Zones 3-8. This peony plant flowers in the middle of peony season, generally blooming in late spring or early summer. The plants are slow-growing, reaching 34″-36″ tall and 32″-36″ wide in good growing conditions. The Duchesse de Nemours Peony was introduced by French peony breeder Calot in 1856. This beautiful white peony would go on to receive the RHS Award of Garden Merit in 1993.
Read more about the Duchesse de Nemours Peony here.
2. Festiva Maxima peony
Festiva Maxima Peony is another very popular white heirloom peony from France. These full double flowers are rounded, reaching 6″-7″ wide. What makes them distinctive is the red-pink tips of the center petals. The colorful flecks are irregular and often form a thin line at the end of the petals, making it appear that the flower was just barely dipped into red dye.
The Festiva Maxima Peony (Paeonia lactiflora ‘Festiva Maxima’) can be grown in Zones 3-8. This white peony flowers early in peony season, typically blooming in early-mid spring (depending on the local climate). This is one type of peony with very heavy flowers and somewhat-weak stems, meaning that it will likely need the support of a peony ring during flowering. Mature plants grow 32″-34″ tall with a spread of 30″-36″ wide.
The Festiva Maxima Peony was bred by Auguste Joseph Miellez in France and was introduced in 1851. This white peony would also go on to receive the RHS Award of Garden Merit in 1993.
Read more about the Festiva Maxima Peony here.
3. Moon Over Barrington peony
Moon Over Barrington Peony is a stunning cream-white peony with rose-shaped blooms. This double peony is known not only for its fluffy, swirling petals but also for its spicy floral scent. Moon Over Barrington Peony flowers is very large, reaching 8″ wide at peak bloom. The foliage of these flowers is a gorgeous glossy dark green.
Moon Over Barrington Peony (Paeonia lactiflora ‘Moon Over Barrington’) can be grown in Zones 3-8. These plants bloom in the mid-late peony season, typically flowering in mid-spring or early summer (depending on the local climate). Plants grow at a medium speed, reaching 28″-32″ tall and 26″-36″ wide at maturity. The Moon Over Barrington was bred by American peony breeder Roy Klehm of South Barrington, Illinois (USA), and introduced in 1986.
4. Gardenia peony
Gardenia Peony is a blush-white peony with blooms that resemble gardenia flowers. This is a true flower-lovers peony, and it makes fantastic cut flowers. Each flower is about 6″ wide, with double petals that open as a soft-pink blush and mature to an ivory white. The foliage is dark green and highly ornamental, and the stems are strong to hold up the heavy blooms.
The Gardenia Peony (Paeonia lactiflora ‘Gardenia) can be grown in Zones 3-8. Gardenia peony plants are slow-growing, but eventually, reach a spread of 32″-36″ wide and a height of about 32″ tall. The Gardenia Peony was bred by Eugene Lins of Cologne, Minnesota (USA), and introduced in 1949.
5. Bridal Shower peony
Bridal Shower Peony is a creamy white peony cultivar with fluffy, fragrant layers of soft petals. This double peony is bombe-type, with a center ball of ivory-white petals atop a saucer-shaped layer of longer petals. Flowers are bout 6″ wide each. The foliage is ornamental and the stems are very strong.
The Bridal Shower Peony (Paeonia lactiflora ‘Bridal Shower’) can be grown in Zones 3-8. These stunning flowers bloom mid-season, typically in mid-late spring. Plants grow at a medium rate, maturing to around 34″ tall and 30″-34″ wide. The Bridal Shower Peony was bred by Roy Klehm of South Barrington, Illinois (USA), and introduced in 1981.
6. Class Act peony
Class Act Peony is a cream-colored double peony variety with soft blush-cream petals. These gorgeous flowers look like old-fashioned roses, complete with a sweet floral fragrance. Each flower measures about 7″ across. Stems are sturdy and the foliage is dark green.
The Class Act Peony (Paeonia lactiflora ‘Class Act’) can be grown in Zones 3-8. Flowers bloom mid-season, generally in mid-late spring. These plants grow at a medium rate, maturing to around 32″ tall and 26″-36″ wide. The Bridal Shower Peony was bred by Roy Klehm of South Barrington, Illinois (USA), and introduced in 1991.
7. Krinkled White peony
Krinkled White Peony is a single-petal white peony with ornamental yellow stamens in the center. The showy flowers attract pollinators and also make wonderful cut flowers. Blooms measure about 5″-6″ wide. The stems are sturdy and the foliage is an attractive medium green.
The Krinkled White Peony (Paeonia lactiflora ‘Krinkled White’) can be grown in Zones 3-8. These plants grow at a medium rate, with plants reaching 24″-36″ tall and 24″-36″ wide. The Krinkled White Peony was bred by Archie Mack Brand of Faribault, Minnesota (USA) and introduced in 1928.
8. Bowl of Cream peony
Bowl of Cream Peony is a very large cream-colored herbaceous double peony. The flowers are enormous, reaching 9″-10″ wide each on established plants. The plants have highly-ornamental dark green foliage and strong stems to hold up the massive blooms.
The Bowl of Cream Peony (Paeonia lactiflora ‘Bowl of Cream’) can be grown in Zones 3-8. Plants flower in the middle of the peony season, typically late spring to early summer. The plants are slow-growing, reaching 30″-32″ tall and 30″-36″ wide. The Bowl of Cream Peony was bred by American peony breeder Carl G. Klehm of South Barrington, Illinois (USA), and introduced in 1963.
9. Green Halo peony
Green Halo Peony is a rare white-green double peony cultivar. The center ball-shaped tuft of white petals sits atop a light-green-colored guard petal outer base. The flowers are 6″-7″ wide at peak bloom on mature plants. The foliage is medium green and nicely complements the flowers.
The Green Halo Peony (Paeonia lactiflora ‘Green Halo’) can be grown in Zones 3-8. This variety is an early-mid flowering peony variety, typically blooming in mid-spring. Plants grow slowly, reaching a mature size of 30″ tall and 30″ wide. The Green Halo Peony was bred by Roy Klehm of South Barrington, Illinois (USA), and introduced in 1999.
10. Shirley Temple peony
Shirley Temple Peony is a wildly popular blush-white double peony with large flowers. The blooms are a light rose-pink when they first open, maturing to a cream-white color at peak bloom (when they can reach 8″ wide each). Flowers are attractive to beneficial pollinators and have a delicious floral scent. Leaves are glossy and dark green, and while stems are strong, this variety may need the support of a peony ring while in full bloom due to the sheer size of the flowers.
The Shirley Temple Peony (Paeonia lactiflora ‘Shirley Temple’) can be grown in Zones 3-8. These plants grow slowly, eventually reaching a mature width of 30″-36″ wide and 30″-32″ tall. Shirley Temple flowers early in peony season (rare for such a large-blooming peony). The Shirley Temple Peony was potentially bred in Holland at some point before 1952, although some peony lovers believe this peony was bred by Louis Smirnow of Brookville New York, at some point before 1948.
Read more about the Shirley Temple Peony here.
11. Blush Queen peony
Blush Queen Peony is a soft cream-colored double herbaceous peony with hints of pink in the center. These giant flowers reach 8″-10″ across on mature plants. The foliage is medium green.
The Blush Queen Peony (Paeonia ‘Blush Queen’) can be grown in Zones 3-9. Plants bloom in the middle of peony season, generally flowering in late spring or early summer (depending on the local climate). Plants grow to 36″-42″ tall and about 36″ wide. The Blush Queen Peony was bred by Aart Hoogendoorn of Boskoop, Netherlands, and was introduced in 1949.
12. Top Brass peony
Top Brass Peony is a double bombe-type cream-white herbaceous peony with a canary-yellow ring of staminodes around the center. These tall, fluffy, sweetly-scented blooms are large, reaching 6″-7″ wide. Plants bloom prolifically and have attractive glossy green foliage.
The Top Brass Peony (Paeonia lactiflora ‘Top Brass’) can be grown in Zones 3-8. The plants grow slowly, reaching 28″-32″ tall and 32″-36″ wide. The Top Brass Peony was bred by Carl G. Klehm of South Barrington, Illinois (USA), and introduced in 1968. Carl Klehm also bred the beautiful Honey Gold Peony, described above.
13. Jan van Leeuwen peony
Jan van Leeuwen Peony is an elegant heirloom Japanese-type herbaceous peony with white petals and a striking yellow center. These easy-care plants have strong stems, dense green foliage, and minimal care requirements. The bowl-shaped blooms are about 5″ wide.
The Jan van Leeuwen Peony (Paeonia lactiflora ‘Jan van Leeuwen’) can be grown in Zones 3-8. This late-flowering variety typically blooms in early summer. Plants grow at a medium rate, typically reaching 34″-36″ tall and 24″-36″ wide. The Jan van Leeuwen Peony was bred by Leonard van Leeuwen of Sassenheim, Netherlands in 1928.
14. Marie Lemoine peony
Marie Lemoine Peony is an heirloom herbaceous double peony with lemon-white flowers. The foliage of this type has a dark green color and a glossy finish. The fluffy blooms grow to about 6″ wide each and become more white in color as the blooms mature on the stem.
The Marie Lemoine Peony (Paeonia lactiflora ‘Marie Lemoine’) grows in hardiness Zones 3-8. This type of flower is late in the peony season, typically blooming in early summer. These heirloom plants grow slowly, but reach 24″-26″ tall and about 30″ wide. The Marie Lemoine Peony was bred by Jacques Calot of Douai, France, and introduced in 1869.
15. Honey Gold peony
Honey Gold Peony is a soft pink, yellow, and white fluffy herbaceous peony that makes excellent cut flowers. Fully double fragrant bombe-type blooms are 6″ wide and ball-shaped. The outer guard petals are creamy white, while the prominent center has yellow-gold staminodes, and the very middle blooms with pink petaloid. The soft yellow and pink shades are more pronounced on established plants and mature blooms.
The Honey Gold Peony (Paeonia lactiflora ‘Honey Gold’) can be grown in Zones 3-8. These plants grow slowly, reaching a height of 30″ tall and an eventual spread of 23″-36″ wide. The Honey Gold Peony was bred by Carl G. Klehm of South Barrington, Illinois (USA), and introduced in 1970.
16. Moon River peony
Moon River Peony is a cream-pink herbaceous peony with large fluffy blooms. The double blooms mature to 8″ wide. The center of the flower tends to be a cream-white color while the outer petals have a pink blush. Foliage is a dark green color.
The Moon River Peony (Paeonia lactiflora ‘Moon River’) grows well in Zones 3-8. Plants grow to 34″-36″ tall and about 30″-36″ wide. The Moon River Peony was also bred by Carl G. Klehm (USA), and was introduced in 1972.
17. Solange peony
Solange Peony is a pink-white herbaceous peony with fully-double rose-like blooms. The flowers are quite large, reaching 7″ wide in full bloom. The foliage is dark green.
The Solange Peony (Paeonia lactiflora ‘Solange’) thrives in gardening Zones 3-8. Mature plants tend to be about 36″ tall and 24″-36″ wide. This late-flowering type blooms in early summer, with blooms that open slowly and gracefully. The Solange Peony was bred by Victor Lemoine of Nancy, France, and introduced in 1907.
18. Joker peony
Joker Peony is a pink-white herbaceous peony with unique pink-tipped petals. These double blooms reach 8″ wide and are well-supported on short, stocky stems. The flowers have a surprisingly bright pink shade when they first open, with the white tones developing as the petals unfurl. The foliage has an understated green-grey color.
The Joker Peony (Paeonia ‘Joker’) grows in Zones 3-8. These compact plants tend to reach 30″-32″ tall and 30″ wide when mature. Joker Peony plants tend to bloom early to mid-season compared to other peonies, typically flowering in mid-spring. The Joker Peony was likely bred by W. S. Bockstoce (Pittsburgh, PA), and was introduced by Henry Landis (Willowdale, ON, Canada) and Allan Rogers (Sherwood, OR).
19. Renkaku Tree peony
Renkaku Tree Peony is a pure-white flowering heirloom tree peony cultivar. The semi-double white flowers can be 8″ across. Foliage is pointed with a rich green shade. This variety is named for the plant’s resemblance to a “Flight of Cranes” while in full bloom.
The Renkaku Tree Peony (Paeonia suffruticosa ‘Renkaku’) grows well in Zones 4-7. This plant flowers early in the peony season, typically in mid-spring. This tree peony can grow in the range of 3′-7′ tall and 4′-5′ wide when mature. Renkaku is an heirloom Japanese cultivar first offered by Yokohama Nurseries (Yokohama, Japan) in 1898.
20. Florence Nicholls peony
Florence Nicholls Peony is a creamy-pink fragrant herbaceous peony. The large double flowers resemble giant old-fashioned roses, reaching 7″ across. Blooms tend to be a salmon-pink color as they first open, typically maturing to a blush white. Florence Nicholls is a particularly fragrant variety.
The Florence Nicholls Peony (Paeonia lactiflora ‘Florence Nicholls’) can be grown in Zones 3-8. This type flowers early-mid season compared to other peonies, often flowering in mid-spring. Plants grow to about 38″ tall and 24″-36″ wide. The Florence Nicholls Peony was bred by Colonel Jesse Crook Nicholls of Ithaca, New York, and was introduced in 1938.
21. Cora Louise Itoh peony
The Cora Louise Itoh Peony is a stunning white peony flower with purple centers. The flowers are semi-double, measuring 8″-10″ across. A single plant can produce up to 50 flowers once established. The foliage is dark green and highly ornamental.
Cora Louise Peony (Paeonia x ‘Cora Louise’) can be grown in Zones 3-8. This type is low-growing, reaching a mature height of 23″-27″ tall. Established plants can have a spread of up to 36″ wide. The Cora Louise Peony was bred by Roger F. Anderson of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, USA (who also created the Morning Lilac Peony), and introduced in 1986.