The collections of living plants of Botanical Gardens are created for decades and reflect the cultivars and species diversity of culture, the history of its development, the orientation and efficiency of breeding. The gene pool of collections is the basis for the emergence of the new domestic cultivars, their comparative study, testing and evaluation Collection of the Peony of the M.M. Gryshko National Botanical Garden of NAS of Ukraine (NBS) is one of the richest among the countries of the near abroad and Eastern Europe. The gene pool of collection today has 10 species and 650 cultivars. It presents the varieties of all existing garden groups at the level of the most advanced achievements of the world breeding. In addition, the collection serves as the basis for preserving an entire group of historically valuable peony. The purpose of the work was to study the peony collection and to analyze cultivars of old selection breeds of XIX and the beginning of the XX century which were mobilized in the NBS. Morphological, phenological methods and methods of analytical and synthetic selection have been applied. The analysis of the collection has shown that the old varieties are represented by 82 cultivars that were created by breeders of Europe and the USA in the XIX and the beginning of the XX century. It was found that the NBS collection of old peony cultivars is reflects the initial stages of breeding experiments with these ornamental plants in the world. The most complete (63 cultivars) are varieties of French selection mainly in the 1820–1890. It was found that the old varieties are characterized by a high abundance of flowering, a vivid coloration of various colored groups from pure white to pink and dark red, a pleasant scent, a long period of flowering, resistance to diseases and pests. These cultivars are successfully used in ornamental gardening, garden design of landscaped areas and floristу today. Historically valuable cultivars served as the basis for the creation of the first domestic varieties and the development of Ukrainian breeding. On the basis of old cultivars in the NBS, 29 cultivars were received, which were entered into the State Register and are now successfully applied in ornamental horticulture and landscaping.