Paeonia californica Nutt.
Paeoniaceae (Peony Family)
Synonym(s): Paeonia brownii ssp. californica
USDA Symbol: paca2
California Peony is a 30 in. perennial with 5-30 branched stems per plant. Large, drooping maroon flowers occur at the top of the branches. Each flower has 5-6 petals and numerous stamens.
This plant can be difficult to cultivate. Its swollen roots will rot if watered in the summer.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Fruit Type: Follicle
Size Notes: Up to about 30 inches tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Red , Purple
Bloom Time: Jan , Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Dec
Native Distribution: Monterey to San Diego, Cos., CA
Native Habitat: Dry, brushy places below 4000 ft.
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Description: Various extremely well-drained soils.
Conditions Comments: This plant can be difficult to cultivate. Its swollen roots will rot if watered in the summer.
PropagationDescription: Propagation by seed is easiest.
Seed Treatment: No treatment is necessary, but scarification may improve germination.
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
Web ReferenceWebref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 37 - Calscape (2019) California Native Plant Society
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Paeonia californica in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Paeonia californica in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Paeonia californica
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-02-21
Research By: TWC Staff