type: [tree peony] – [suffruticosa group] – [Japanese botan] - [Kan Botan]

The article below gives introduction to fuyu-botan and haru-botan

Peony Garden in Ueno Park
Described by Yoshiko Ueno

“If you have to single out one flower in Japan, you must choose the botan!” A tree peony is called botan (Paeonia suffruticosa) in Japanese. As one of the most celebrated flowers in East Asia, the botan has charmed the Japanese landscape ever since it was introduced during the Heian Period (794-1185).

Since then, many varieties have been introduced or bred in Japan to give the botan a wide range of shapes and colors: double- and single-flowers; white, pink, red, purple and even yellow, with many different shades.
Botan attracts us with its size and appearance as well; a large one can be 20 cm in diameter. It is awesome to see double-flowered peonies of that magnitude in full bloom. Some flowers have very thin layers of translucent petals. Looking at the sun through these flowers creates a halo that is simply breath taking!

In wintertime, when other flowers are rare, I would recommend that you visit Ueno Toshogu Botan Garden, which features forty-different kinds of botan on six hundred trees in a traditional Japanese garden. Protected from frost by a rice-straw cover, each peony looks adorable as it smiles at you through the opening of the hood. Ueno Toshogu Botan Garden is the only place in Tokyo where peonies can be enjoyed in winter. The garden opens for fuyu-botan (winter-peony) from January 1 to the end of February, daily from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, with an admission of YEN 600 for adults.

Even though you miss the famous cherry blossoms, you can still enjoy looking the peonies in the garden. Countless Japanese haru-botan (spring-peony) of two hundred varieties on three thousand trees bloom in the spring along with some Chinese tree peonies trying to catch your attention. Open 9:00 am -5:00 pm; April 15 thru May 6; Adm. YEN 600 for adults.
When the botan are gone, the garden still has something to offer: shakuyaku, or herbaceous peony. Although shakuyaku are a little smaller and simpler than botan, they have their own beauty and charm. Shakuyaku bloom in late April and you can enjoy some two thousand of them.
Located in Ueno Park in central Tokyo, Toshogu Botan Garden is adjacent to Ueno Toshogu Shrine, which is the mausoleum of Ieyasu Tokugawa, the first shogun of Tokugawa Shogunate. The brilliant mausoleum was constructed in the middle of the 17th century. Together with the five-storied pagoda and more than three hundred stone lanterns, it still retains the atmosphere of the days of shogun and is definitely worth a visit. Ueno Park is best accessible from Koen-guchi exit of JR Ueno Station on the Yamanote Line.

Carsten Burkhardt's Web Project Paeonia - The Peony Database


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