Visit the Peony Garden!

Open Spring/Summer

Free Admission

1610 Washington Hts, Ann Arbor, MI

Kinds of Peonies at Nichols Arboretum

The Arboretum is home to historic herbaceous peony cultivars introduced throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Interest in peony breeding was intense at the time, and a boom of peonies were introduced into the market.

Chart of amounts of newly introduced peonies over the years

The range of years...

that the Nichols Arboretum historic herbaceous peonies were introduced.

* This group includes peonies with no year of introduction listed

Pie chart depicting size of peony varieties by nationality

The distribution...

of the national origin of historic herbaceous varieties present.

Peony Breeders

Peony breeders are always trying to improve the peony by cross-pollinating one peony with another. Breeders are individually looking for their ideal balance of sturdier plants and different colors, forms, and foliage characteristics.

Breeders also try to extend the bloom season by selecting for plants that bloom earlier or later than current cultivars. The peony garden represents 46 peony breeders. After World War II, the passion for peonies declined, reemerging again in the 1980s.

A bright pink peony flower

Cultivars all 46 breeders introduced regardless of kind.

Pie chart of cultivars of all 46 beeders