This tree peony is displaying it’s flamboyant flowers alongside the Lynch Walk.
Growing to 2m in height and spread, Paeonia suffruticosa ‘Rock’s Variety’ has decadent, semi-double, white flowers whose petals are marked at the base with a deep raspberry blotch. The straight species P. suffruticosa, or the moutan, is a rare native of northern China. This selection was noted by the plant collector Reginald Farrer when travelling in Kansu (Gansu) province in 1913. It was only introduced to western gardens in the 1920’s when Joseph Rock discovered a plant fitting Farrer’s description at the Choni lamasery, Kansu, and sent seed to the Arnold Arboretum in America. The lamasery was destroyed in 1928, and all cultivated specimens of this selection are derived from this original Rock introduction.