Every garden needs a showcase plant, something to make you stop in your tracks and look in awe. Sometimes called specimen plants, these garden additions are often rare, unusual or just plain demanding of the spotlight. If you are finding that you are drawn to peonies, a specimen option is Xue Lian, or ‘Purple Lotus’, tree peony. Its size alone makes a statement and of course its gorgeous blooms command attention, too.
Botanical name: Paeonia suffruticosa Xue Lian
Common Name: ‘Purple Lotus’ tree peony
Height: 8 feet
Width: 10 feet
Flowers: Pure white to deep merlot with signature purple flares at the center of the flower
Size of blooms: 10 inches
Light: Full sun
USDA Zones: 4–9
This tree peony has multiple woody stems. It prefers full sun to part shade and moderate water.