Rosea Plena and Rubra Plena peonies have been around for centuries – some say since the middle ages, or at least the 17th century. They have long been thought to be Paeonia officinalis species, with some thought that many of the historical ‘officinalis’ cultivars actually belong to the Paeonia peregrina species (Carsten Burkhardt http://www.paeon.de/name/index_r.html.). No matter, it's their early bloom and big flowers that enthrall most of us.
Both are early blooming varieties, providing some of the first ‘double’ peony blossoms each spring. Rubra Plena is a rich, dark red and Rosea Plena is vibrant pink. They both have attractive, richly veined foliage.
Rosea Plena flowers are very unique – dahlia style. They start with a bold pink color and lighten as they bloom, providing several differing shades on the same plant throughout the bloom period. Quite pleasing!
These two peony varieties remind folks of the old-fashioned peonies they grew up with, as they have long been popular in gardens. Some refer to them as Memorial Day peonies; although, they generally bloom too early for today’s U.S. Memorial Day holiday.
If you are looking for early blooming peony flowers, these two are great choices.