Wild Peony

I think Wild Peony would be a good name for an old time string band.

 

The wild peony is a perennial version of the huge flowering peonies found in the gardens around homes across North America.

 

In late April, we had all the plants and trees on Mule Springs Farm surveyed. Burta, our native plant specialist, found a single peony plant near a draw we call Quail Gulch.  This means we have one wild peony growing on 160 acres.

My mother was visiting from Nevada when this wild peony was found, and she helped display the simple flower head for me to photograph. Normally the flower heads droop down, and the flowers would be easy to miss. The foliage is lacy, but it’s also fleshy and substantial though not stout like a succulent.

 

Though the wild peony root was ground to fine powder by Native Americans and used as a medicine, the leaves are rather toxic, so it is hard to imagine the mules, when they were here, eating the peony.  It’s also remarkable to think that we have only one plant.

Possibly a migrating bird brought the seed.

 

For Burta it was one of the farm’s biggest surprises, and she felt we should protect the plant from Chippo and Ziggy. But, the peony grows in an area of the farm the donkeys seldom visit.  So, I chose not place a cage around it.

The wild peony flower head is subtle compared to the outrageous feathered flower head (seen here) of the typical peony found in home gardens.

9 thoughts on “Wild Peony

  1. I did put a cage around it … a few weeks ago … guess it’s not just the donkeys that don’t go over there much. LOL.

    1. I did put a cage around it … a few weeks ago … guess it’s not just the donkeys that don’t go over there much. LOL.

      Hi Bruce – oh my goodness. You are right; I have not seen it. Thanks, and I will get over and check it out. I want to see how easily I can find it again. 🙂 Burta will be pleased.

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