Is planting a Tree Peony allowed in Annapolis?

Asked October 31, 2019, 1:08 PM EDT

I live in a condominium community in Annapolis on Spa Creek, and one of our residents wants to plant a tree peony ( in front of her building. I see that it's native to China, Tibet & Bhutan, and it isn't listed in the "Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Landscaping - Chesapeake Bay Watershed" book I got from the Annapolis City Planning & Zoning Commission. So my question is: can we plant this in our community, and if not, is there another 'native' tree that would provide similar blooms? I just finished the Anne Arundel Master Gardener course and haven't been able to find the answer in our materials. Thank you!

Anne Arundel County Maryland

1 Response

Tree peonies are gorgeous plants. They are not really trees, but a loose shrub form of peony with woody branches that do not die back to the ground in winter like regular peonies. Their flowers are spectacular.
It is not a native plant, but it is not at all invasive. We would have no problem with planting one, but you will need to check with your city planning and zoning and ask them if it is o.k. We are not certain of your laws/rules within your local community regarding whether you are obligated to use only natives.

There is nothing that is really similar to the huge, full and fragrant blooms of tree peony. If you have the option of planting a non-native, go ahead.
How big a plant are you looking for?
You could consider a Sweet Bay Magnolia, White Fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus) or dogwood, but they are really not the same.