Historic Flora: Peonies + Irises

3 Leaf Floral peonies and iris_Cat Mayer

Western Colorado’s roots run deep when it comes to springtime blooms. While our fruit-tree blossoms surely shine, we have an abundance of other blooms available during this short floral season. 

The first peonies arrived on the Western Slope in the 1800s. Paonia, Grand Junction, and Palisade all have plants that have been here for ages; some are up to 100 years old and hardy through our extreme weather conditions. Always a crowd favorite, peony plants in your landscaping will bloom in the Grand Valley in April-May, and into August in our mountain towns.

Irises, too, are showstoppers this time of year. Ancient Greeks believed irises served as the link between heaven and earth itself. My favorite is the beautifully variegated ‘Oyez’ Iris, bringing to mind something I might find in the deep jungle. We can see all kinds of iris beauties — whether in our own backyards, across the campus of CMU, or on a visit to Willow Bend Iris Farm. They make a wonderful focal point to any arrangement. Look for them blooming mid-May through mid-June.

3 Leaf Floral

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