Brown's Peony

Scientific Name:

Paeonia brownii

Type:

Herbaceous Plant

Habitat:

Sagebrush scrub, yellow pine, and chaparral communities generally at elevations between 3,000 and 8,500 feet

Range:

Eastern Washington; south through the northern two thirds of California; east to Utah, western Wyoming, and Idaho

Status:

Secure (NatureServe)

This species is

NATIVE

to the Truckee Meadows.

Identification:

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.

Fast Facts:

  • 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.

Sources:

Contributor(s):

Emma Wynn (research, content, and photos)

Alex Shahbazi (edits & page design)

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