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A perennial with large glossy leaves and flowers that bloom in late spring or early summer.


They grow best in full sun and well-drained soil. This one is in my front yard.


On my peony, I have seen wasps (Photo No. 2), hoverflies (Photo No. 3), an unidentified bug (Photo No. 4), and ants. While some of these insects, such as the wasps, are pollinators, they are not the type of pollinators that bring much beauty to a garden, such as butterflies and bumblebees. Also, while the flowers are very pretty to look at, they are only in bloom for a short period of time and when they get too heavy, they drag the plant to the ground. Based on my observations, I do not recommend the peony for the Pollinators Detective Mission.

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tacticalbee 6 months ago

Do you think the scent of peonies is important to pollinators? Peonies are great nectar producers, so if the blooms open up and bees can get inside there, that's a valuable food source.

tacticalbee 7 months ago

Can your students think about why after the flowers aged and stopped blooming different kinds of insects might come by? What were the wasps and hoverflies looking for that now that the flowers are "done" might not be there?

Mr. Schaen
Mr. Schaen 7 months ago

From my observations, I found that as the flowers aged and stopped blooming, the wasps and hoverflies went away but the ants remained. From my research, I learned that peonies provide food for ants, so it makes sense that they stuck around!

PollinatorProtector 7 months ago

As the flowers age, do the types of insects change?

Mr. Schaen
Mr. Schaen 8 months ago

Thank you for your comment. I observed my peony last May on 3 straight sunny days, for 5 minutes each time. I observed a total 14 wasps and 22 hover flies! From my research I've learned that both wasps and hover flies are pollinators, so I respect your opinion.

DrAngelone 8 months ago

Great pictures! I agree that this is a peony, but I disagree that this should not be recommended for a pollinator garden. I think that your plant attracted quite a few pollinators and that makes it a good plant for a pollinator garden. I wonder though, do you have more data, such as how often you've seen wasps and hover flies? I wonder how it will compare to other plants in the Pollinator Detectives Mission.

Mr. Schaen
Spotted by
Mr. Schaen

Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Spotted on Mar 29, 2021
Submitted on Mar 29, 2021

Spotted for Mission

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