Paeonia Lactiflora – ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ – Peony – Herbaceous Peony

Paeonia Lactiflora – ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ – Peony – Herbaceous Peony

‘Sarah Bernhardt’ is an herbaceous perennial to 90cm with divided foliage, erect stems bearing fragrant, rose-pink double flowers 20cm in width, with ruffled inner petals, flowering usually in early June for about 7 – 10 days. Lives up to 50 years.

Sarah Bernhardt is a taller variety of peony often growing to 95cm, so ideal for the back of the border. It may require staking. Flowers are freely produced often to the end of June so it is great for extending the flowering season.

  • Flowers: June
  • Hardiness: Fully hardy
  • Habit: Herbaceous perennial
  • Family Paeoniaceae
  • Genus Paeonia

Date Planted


Purchase Info

August 29 2017





Cut flowers with long vase life – over a week. if cut in bud.

Diseases and Problems:

Pests: Can get leaf and bud eelworms and caterpillars but mostly pest free

Diseases: May be subject to a virus, honey fungus and peony wilt


Best in a deep, fertile, humus-rich soil that is moist but well-drained in a sheltered position in full sun or partial shade. May need support (heavy flowers and can droop during heave rain. Do not like to be replanted.  Best time to plant early fall.

Propagation: Propagate by division in autumn or early spring.

Herbaceous and Itoh peonies are propagated by root division, and sometimes by seed. Tree peonies can be propagated by grafting, division, seed, and from cuttings, although root grafting is most common commercially.

Herbaceous peonies such as Paeonia lactiflora, will die back to ground level each autumn. Their stems will reappear the following spring. However tree peonies, such as Paeonia suffruticosa, are shrubbier. They produce permanent woody stems that will lose their leaves in winter but the stem itself remains intact above ground level

PruningRemove dead flowers as they fade, then cut back plant after the foliage has died down in autumn

  • Foliage: Deciduous
  • Habit: Clump-forming
  • Toxicity: All parts can cause stomach upset if ingested
  • Hardiness:  H6 (-20 to -15)
  • Sunlight: Full Sun, Partial Shade
  • Aspect: South-facing or East-facing or West-facing
  • Exposure: Sheltered 
  • Moisture: Moist but well-drained
  • Soil: Clay, Loam, Chalk, Sand
  • pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
  • Size
    • Ultimate height0.5-1 metres
    • Ultimate spread0.5-1 metres
    • Time to ultimate height2-5 years