Western Peony (Paeonia brownii) is such a cool little plant. The leaves are quite lovely and it is one of the few plants that have "brown" petals, making it quite unique and an absolute treat to see when hiking in the back-country.
Western Peony, also known as Brown's Peony, is a dicot, perennial, herbaceous plant. It likes to grow in Sagebrush Scrub, Yellow Pine, and Chaparral communities and tends to grow in elevations between 3,000 and 8,500 ft. Western Peony tends to flower between May and July.
The flowers have 5 or more maroon/brown petals with a large number of bright, yellow stamen that contrast beautifully with their brown petals. Within a few weeks, the petals and stamens fall to the ground and are replaced by large seedpods. The large, green seedpods tend to pull the plant towards the ground, giving it a drooping appearance. The leaves are large, bluish-gray in color and are irregularly lobed.
Sources and links to more information:
USDA Plants, Profile for Paeonia brownii: http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=PABR
Jepson e-Flora: http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=35854
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