Glossary T-Z

Peony Glossary

Terms T-Z

Taxonomic Groups

Peonies are divided into a number of taxonomic groups which assist in evaluating relationships between species.  Commonly taxonomic groups are used by researchers, collectors and hybridizers working with peonies.  See Taxonomic Classification of Peony Species.

terminal bud

A term used to describe the location of a dormant bud on a woody peony’s stem.  Terminal buds are the top most bud on the stem and are almost always the largest.  These buds become more developed as the growing season progress and attain full size in August to September.  The buds remain dormant during the winter season and contain the following year’s leaves and flowers.  This type of budded stem is most desirable for grafting woody peonies due to their stored hormones and size.


See “Ploidy” in Hybridizing Glossary

Tree Peony

See Woody Peony.  Tree Peonies are correctly named woody peonies as the seldom attain “tree-like” stature.  Typically a woody peony is sub-shrub in size, thus the name “tree peony” is a misnomer.


See “Ploidy” in Hybridizing Glossary

woody peony

Any peony that produces persistant perennial stems above the soil surface.  Often, incorrectly termed “Tree Peony”.  Includes woody species, suffruticosa hybrids and lutea hybrids.  Woody peonies are a diverse group in both flower characteristics, foliage and plant habit.  For further information see section in “LEARN” about woody peonies.