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Raspberry Sundae Peony

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Raspberry Sundae’

Raspberry Sundae Peony

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Raspberry Sundae’

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How are the heights measured?

All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.

What is a gallon container?

Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.

How does the delivery process work?

All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!

Why are some states excluded from shipping?

The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.

About Me


The Raspberry Sundae Peony is an outstanding peony variety with full blooms that are pale cream, with the inner petals topped with beautiful raspberry pink. This fully-double variety has an outer circle of cupped petals, holding a dense center with many fluted and ruffled petals. It lasts well in the garden and in vases, and after flowering the leafy bush is attractive too. The leaves turn orange and yellow in fall. Standing almost 3 feet tall, this bold plant makes a great specimen in your shrub beds, and it fits into any kind of garden. Very easy to grow, and long-lived, each year it will get better, producing a profusion of wonderful blooms in May.

  • Delicious blooms are ice-cream white, with a pink center
  • Strong stems never flop or droop
  • Attractive leafy bush when not in bloom
  • Very easy to grow, and very cold resistant
  • Beautiful as a cut flower in vases as well

Plant the Raspberry Sundae Peony in full sun, or with a little afternoon shade in hot zones. It is very hardy, growing in zone 3, and probably in zone 2 as well, but also in all but the hottest zones. It should be grown in rich, moist, well-drained soil and mulched regularly with organic material. It normally has no pests or diseases and lives for decades. The ants you might see on the flower buds are normal, and help the blooms open cleanly.

Plant Hardiness Zones 3-8
Mature Width 3-4
Mature Height 3
Sun Needs Full Sun, Partial Sun
Zones 3-8

If you like to see large flowers in your garden, then peony bushes were made for you. This is especially true if you live in cooler zones, but these plants also grow over a very large part of the country. One of the most beautiful is the Raspberry Sundae Peony. Every stem ends with a large double flower that is vanilla ice-cream, with a dash of raspberry pink garnishing the central petals – just like a sundae on a bush. This strong, upright plant has lovely foliage too, so it stays an attractive component of your beds all summer, with great gold and red fall colors ending the season with a bang. It is a very reliable bloomer, and within a few years you will have a large bush with many, many blooms on it – a real show-stopper.

Growing the Raspberry Sundae Peony

Size and Appearance

The Raspberry Sundae Peony stands 3 feet tall when in bloom, and about 6 inches less when leafy. A mature plant is at least as broad, and makes an attractive bush, even when not in bloom. This is an herbaceous perennial plant, not a shrub, which means that the leaves and stems die down to the ground each winter, re-sprouting from buds below ground in the spring. The underground part is large, with thick, fleshy roots that spread widely and deeply through the soil. This plant is very long-lived, and plants remain healthy for 50 years or more, without having to be divided. Choose the location for your plant carefully, as it will grow best if left undisturbed and a mature plant does not move well.

The upright stems of the Raspberry Sundae Peony grow rapidly in spring, and they have large, attractive divided leaves that are reddish in spring, turning to a rich dark green, with a smooth, glossy surface. At the end of each stem a large flower bud develops and by late May, depending on exactly where you live, your bush will be in bloom. The blooms are large, over 6 inches across, and fully double, in the style called a ‘bomb peony’. There is an outer circle of slightly cupped petals, surrounding a dense center of hundreds of petals, fluted, twirled and ruffled into a ball. The petals are creamy, vanilla ice cream white, but the central ones develop ends of raspberry red, and the whole bloom may become suffused with pale pink as it ages. This gorgeous bloom looks for all the world like a big bowl of ice cream, topped with raspberry syrup.

Using the Raspberry Sundae Peony in Your Garden

Peonies are wonderful garden plants, because they can be grown among shrubs in beds, or with flowering plants, so they are incredibly versatile. They are terrific specimens for a great spring display each year, anywhere in your garden. Put them between evergreens around your home. Plant one by an entrance or gateway for a beautiful welcome. Place one – or in a larger bed a group of three – in your shrub beds, in front of larger, later-blooming shrubs. This is also an excellent peony for cutting, lasting 10 days in a vase if you cut it in bud. Let your plant establish and mature for a few years before beginning to cut stems for vases, as this can weaken new plants.


Because it is totally hardy in zone 3, and never damaged by cold, the Raspberry Sundae Peony is especially welcome in colder zones. It is also hardy across most of the country, growing everywhere except in zones 9 and 10.

Sun Exposure and Soil Conditions

Plant your Raspberry Sundae Peony in full sun for the best growth. It will take a little afternoon shade in warmer zones, but too much shade will reduce blooming. Grow it in any rich, well-drained soil, and the area should be dug over deeply and in a wide circle, adding a good quantity of rich compost or other organic material. Place the plant so that the point where the stems sprout from the root is one inch below the surface, or two inches in very cold zones. Peonies grow best in rich soil, and they should be well-watered in spring and early summer. Established plants will tolerate some dryness, but they prefer to remain moist, but not wet.

Pruning and Maintenance

Remove the flowers as soon as the petals fall, cutting back just above the first leaf, to leave a neat bush. In fall, after the leaves color, stems can be cut back to an inch or two, and at that time it is good to cover the plant in a 2-inch mulch of rich compost or rotted organic material. That is the only care needed, and the sturdy stems of this plant rarely if ever need staking.

History and Origin of the Raspberry Sundae Peony

The Chinese peony, Paeonia lactiflora, grows throughout northern China, from Tibet to eastern Siberia, and it has been grown in Chinese and Japanese gardens for centuries. The early plants grown in America were brought from the East but it wasn’t long before American know-how started breeding our own varieties. The Klehm family, started by Charles Klehm, a founder of the American Peony Society in 1903, is certainly the most famous, and Roy G. Klehm, a grandson, bred many wonderful peonies at his Song Sparrow Perennial Farm in Avalon, Wisconsin. In the late 1940s Klehm crossed an older variety called ‘Charley’s White’ with one of his own seedlings, and the plant first bloomed in 1951. He registered it with the name ‘Raspberry Sundae’ in 1968.

Buying the Raspberry Sundae Peony at The Tree Center

Always a top favorite with peony enthusiasts, we are so pleased to be able to offer this delicious and charming peony to our clients. You will love it, we know. Order right away, because we only have a limited stock, and these plants sell out fast.

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Raspberry Sundae Peony

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Raspberry Sundae’