Japanese Tree Peony
This is truly a stunning plant that puts on an incredible show for a brief moment and then it is gone until next year. This year the blooms were pretty for about two days. Something always happens to fade their loveliness - they are really sensitive to wind and rain. I forget where I bought mine but I have it planted in a terrible spot for viewing, right in the middle of a border with larger shrubs, but it seems to be happy where it is. I've always heard that they dislike transplanting so I've left it alone. I've had this plant for over 10 years and it is barely 2 feet tall but every year there are more blooms and they seem to be more dramatic with each passing year although this could just be the time of bloom - most plants are just waking up when the tree peony blooms appear (late March) and the bright red flowers are a sight to behold for a color deprived gardener emerging from the winter doldrums. I don't know the name of the cultivar although I wish I did. It blooms much earlier than the regular peonies, which don't start until May.