Recommended Reading
You can submit your review of these or other peony books


The Genus

The Gardener's



The Book of Tree Peonies
by Gian Lupo Osti
     First I have to say what a beautiful book this is. Wonderful printing, layout and color. The photos are by highly esteemed famous photographers (Josh Westrich and Emanuele Coppola) and include some of the best pictures I have ever seen of tree peonies both in the wild, and as a gallery of various cultivars. It is worth the price for the pictures alone.

     Osti claims no botanical training, but his love for peonies shines through the pages. He details two extensive collecting/observation trips to China with Prof. Hong Tao and discussion with Hong De Yuan. Details abound and a number of stops are particularly fascinating.  I can recommend this book for pictures, but I think most will  enjoy the lovingly written text, too. Although the taxonomy relates the latest Chinese results there are of course questions.

One interesting excerpt:(page 26)

      " Moutan peonies require cold winters and warm summers for growing and flowering at their best; that is a continental or alpine climate, with good, well - drained soil. This is the opposite of the situation in Britain, where the climate is mild and usually without extremes, often humid, and generally more suitable for gardening. It is rare, however, to see good specimens of tree peonies there with vigorous growth and a good show of flowers. The fact that Britain has led the way in gardening for two hundred years, may be the reason why peonies have never been popular."

      This raises a lot of interesting thoughts and questions.

      Go get this book!!            Jim W.

by Allan Rogers
This book is generally considered to be the best and most authoritative reference on peonies. We highly recommend this book for obtaining a basic knowledge of peonies and for answering more advanced questions.
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Peonies[Abrams, 1999]
by Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall
Award-winning garden designer Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall provides advice on planting 200 varieties of peonies; extensive lists detailing size, flower shape, and color of both tree and herbaceous peonies; garden plans; and a Top Ten list selecting peonies for fragrance, cut flowers, autumn color, early, late, and long flowering, robustness, and much more.(Publisher)

The Gardener's Guide to Growing Peonies,
(Gardener's Guide Series)
by Martin Page. Hardcover
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Handbook of the Peony
American Peony Society
An excellent book for the beginning peony enthusiast.  This is a compilation of articles which have been featured in the APS bulletins.  Primarily basic and general information concerning propagation and care of peonies.

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