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Ann Arbor – A peony garden at the University of Michigan is getting its bloom on.

The 96-year-old Nichols Arboretum has North America’s largest collection of heirloom herbaceous peonies. The spring display is offered from sunrise to sunset, roughly from Memorial Day to mid-June. The garden holds about 800 peonies that produce more than 10,000 blooms at their peak.

Officials say the garden has grown this year, as 70 herbaceous peonies from before the 1950s were planted last year. Also new to the mix are nearly 40 Itoh peonies, a cross between herbaceous and tree types.

David Michener, associate curator of the arboretum, says the diverse peony collection “tells the natural and social history of peonies.” The garden is free and open to the public.

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