ROCK'S PEONY Paeonia rockii While this particular species of tree peony was named for the Austrian-American
botanist Joseph Rock, who found it in the mountains of western China in the
mid-20th century, Chinese gardeners have cultivated peonies since at least the
seventh century A.D. Many of the most beloved, double-flowered tree and
herbaceous peonies of today originated long ago in Chinese nurseries. The genus
Paeonia is not exclusive to China (some peony species are native to
western North America and southern Europe), but China's native species and
horticultural traditions have vastly enriched Western gardens.