Peonies come in many colors, from dramatically-hued magenta to subdued pastel blue — and even a shade of buttery yellow called “lemon chiffon.” And as the name suggests, these peonies are as bright and sunny as a gorgeous lemon chiffon cake.
An Alaskan peony farm, Alaska Peony Cooperative, took to social media one summer to show off the larger-than-life lemon chiffon peonies. As you can see in their Facebook post, these beautiful flowers have fairytale-like proportions:
The Paeonia Lemon Chiffon was first hybridized by award-winning horticulturist D.L. Reath back in the 1980s. It went on to win the Grand Champion prize at the 2000 American Peony Society, where it was also named Best in Show. Reath created this lush yellow peony by combining the “salmon dream” peony with the hybrid bud of the “cream delight” peony and the “moonrise” peony.
The result is a peony that looks as hopeful and luscious as summer itself. This peony is a semi-double flower form, but mature peony plants can produce double flowers. (Single flowers generally have between five to eight petals, whereas double flowers have up to 25 petals. Semi-double flowers have nearly double or triple the amount a single flower has, but not as many as a double flower.)
Hence, these peonies give you more petals for your efforts, spreading sunshine in your garden … though not necessarily attracting more pollinators, as bees interestingly prefer single flowers that make more nectar and are less difficult to access.
If you want to plant lemon chiffon peonies in your garden, here is what you need to know.
The lemon chiffon peony enjoys full sun or partial sun/shade. It performs best in Zones 3-8.
Don’t know what zone your backyard falls in? Check out the Plant Hardiness Zone Map on the U.S. Department of Agriculture website and enter your zip code. (For example, let’s say you live in Wisconsin: Depending on your precise location, your plant hardiness zone could be Zone 3, 4 or 5, based on how far north you find yourself.)
Blooming begins from late spring to early summer, and as with all peonies, this type is known to be quite low-maintenance and deer-resistant. Lemon chiffons will be about 32 inches high and 36 inches wide at their maximum, and planting several in a row will create a gorgeous hedge for your garden.
Ready to plant some? You can buy them at online retailers such as Breck’s or White Flower Farm, but also check your local gardening store. You’ll want to obtain them in fall so you can get them in the ground before winter sets in.