The characteristics of the Moutan Botanical Center
The Moutan botanical center takes its name from the Chinese term "Mu Dan" which indicates the arboreal peony: in fact, since 1993 the center has hosted a very rich collection of Chinese peonies, coming from the most remote Asian areas, and takes care of their maintenance and diffusion. In this immense collection, in addition to rare specimens of peonies of the Delavayane group, the mother plants of the Rockii species stand out, varieties that grow spontaneously on the Tibetan plateau, at more than 2000 meters, even at -20 ° C. They are particularly valuable and rare shrubs and the Moutan Botanical Center preserves about eighty cultivars. It is advisable to visit the garden between April and May to discover these beautiful flowers that color and animate a park unique in the world with their beauty. It is possible to admire the peonies of the Suffruticosa group that bloom throughout the month of April, the peonies of the Rockii species with flowers from the beginning of April to mid-May and the herbaceous peonies that are in bloom from early May until the end of the month. Obviously the dates are indicative and may vary according to the seasonal trend.
The peony collections of the Moutan Botanical Center
Peonies are divided into two groups: herbaceous, with tuberous roots that bloom in May and disappear in autumn to reappear in spring, and arboreal, gnarled and solid shrubs to which leaves fall in winter and open new buds in spring. In turn, the tree species are divided into Vaginatae and Delavayane. Hybrid species and cultivars derive from the cross of the Vaginatae, classified as Paeonia suffruticosa: in the Moutan Botanical Center, about 300 varieties can be admired. In the garden we can also admire the Peonies Osti, a vigorous species with a faster development than the others. Among the rarest, the tree peonies Rocki stand out. Their name derives from the famous "plant hunter" who was called Joseph Rock: he was the first to bring them to the West. They spontaneously grow in a Chinese province, Gansu, at about 2000 meters above sea level. Finally we can admire the Delavay peonies that have a very simple flower of a beautiful dark purple: the species is variable and can also have a shape with a yellow flower, once called Peonia Lutea, or with a red, white and even yellow flower with a red mottle once called Peonia Potanini.