Several years ago a long-time employee of TPP's favorite neighborhood garden shoppe was offering us several perennials at significant discounts rather than trying to over winter them and sell them the next spring. And three fern-leafed peonies (Peonia tenuifolia) were among the lot, at least 3 pots labelled as such. They were a bit slow to get started but now all three produce 2 foot high mounds of very finely dissected foliage. Their single flowers are bright scarlet red, one at the end of each aerial shoot, and they are the earliest of the peonies, even beating the tree peonies by a week. Unfortunately, while very handsome, the flowering display does not last long, but then again, few flowering displays do. The foliage remains attractive enough, so do think of putting these into a middle position is a partly shady bed. They particularly look great in the morning sun. Actually just checking the data, and our Japanese peonies flowered at the same time, a woodland, herbaceous perennial. Something tells TPP he's done this as a FFF before, but so what.