CUAA Peonies

Summer provides a particularly poignant pop of color—especially during peony season.


Concordia University Ann Arbor is an idyllic riverfront campus in the midst of a regularly rated top college town in the country. Awe-inspiring oaks and magnificent maples tower throughout the “Tree Town” campus’ grounds, turning hues of red, orange and gold in autumn. Snow-covered pines line the Huron River in winter, and daffodils and tulips burst from the ground at the first sign of spring.

As an academic institution, the summer season on campus is one that many don’t always get to see. The early June blooms of Concordia’s peonies are a regularly remarkable sight.

For nearly a quarter of a century, Concordia’s 200 herbaceous peony plants (Paeonia lactiflora) pop open in shades of pink, white, and violet in the early days of summer. Half are located in the Chapel courtyard on central campus and the other half are just behind the Earhart manor. There are as many as 4,000 blooms at peak bloom.

Flowers and gardening are a rich part of the history of Concordia University Ann Arbor’s property, dating back to the early 1900’s when Henry Boyd Earhart and his wife, Carrie, owned the estate. Both were avid landscapers and gardeners.

Concordia’s picturesque peonies

Central Campus—mid-bloom (June 3, 2021)

  • Concordia’s current peony plants were planted in 1998
  • Concordia purchased it’s land from the estate of Harry Boyd Earhart and his wife, Carrie. Both were avid landscapers and gardeners. Carrie in particular had an interest in flowers and their estate including formal gardens with pathways and overhead trellises, as well one of two privately owned greenhouses in Ann Arbor in the early 1900’s.

CUAA Peonies

CUAA Peonies

  • Concordia has around 200 herbaceous peony plants (Paeonia lactiflora) with as many 4,000 blooms at peak bloom.
  • Half of the peonies are located behind the Earhart Manor. The other other half are located on central campus in the courtyard of the Chapel of the Holy Trinity

Central Campus—pre-bloom (May 27, 2021)

CUAA Peonies

Earhart Manor—mid-bloom (June 3, 2021)

CUAA Peonies

CUAA Peonies

Earhart Manor—pre-bloom (May 27, 2021)

CUAA Peonies


Learn more about Concordia University Ann Arbor’s academic programs and degrees.

— Rachel (Ferry) Thoms is manager of campus communications for Concordia University Ann Arbor. She may be reached at rachel.thoms@cuaa.edu or 734-995-7403.

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