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Flowering has begun in the peony garden at the University of Michigan

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) – A peony garden at the University of Michigan is flourishing.

The 96-year-old Nichols Arboretum has the largest collection of herbaceous plants inherited from North America. The spring exhibition is offered from sunrise to sunset, approximately from Memorial Day to mid-June. The garden contains around 800 peonies that produce more than 10,000 flowers 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 in the mix are almost 40 Itoh peonies, a cross between herbaceous and arboreal types.

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

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