Sagebrush scrub, yellow pine, and chaparral communities generally at elevations between 3,000 and 8,500 feet
Eastern Washington; south through the northern two thirds of California; east to Utah, western Wyoming, and Idaho
This species is
to the Truckee Meadows.
It is very easy to overlook Brown’s peony as the maroon flowers hang down, almost touching the ground. The fleshy blue-green, divided leaves often catch the eye before you see the flowers Mature plants can be over 12 inches tall. The flowers have 5 or more maroon/brown petals with a large number of bright, yellow stamens that contrast beautifully with their brown petals.
Brown’s peony is one of only two peony species native to the United States. All other peony species are found in Eurasia.
The Paiute and Washoe people made decoctions of the roots to treat lung ailments.
Brown’s peony blooms early in the year, usually between April and June, before going dormant during the summer.
Here in the Truckee Meadows, Brown’s peony can be found along the Hunter Creek Trail and near the Galena Creek Visitor Center.
Emma Wynn (research, content, and photos)
Alex Shahbazi (edits & page design)