Botanical Name:Paeonia officinalis
Common Name: ‘Mollis’ Peony, Common Peony.
Habitat: Native to S Europe: S France/ Switzerland/ N Italy/ Hungary/ Albania.
A Low to Mid-height perennial, hardy to Zone Z4 or colder. Low Maintenance in a proper site. Of Upright habit, forming colonies primarily by forming a slowly expanding Clump from rhizomes. Slow-growing and of very long lifespan. Height: to 14-24in. Light required: sun to light shade. Soil: normal garden soil is indicated. Soft foliage with numerous narrowly elliptic leaflets. Large flowers are borne singly for a week shortly before the garden peonies bloom. Range of flower colour(s) includes: possibly white, shades of pink, sometimes red, but ours are more of a crimson. Seed pods turning brown when ripe, not particularily showy compared to other species. Some uses are: Borders, Rock Gardens.
A plant named after Paeon, physician to the Greek gods, by Theophrastus (372-c. 287 B.C.) For centuries, it has had a large place in classical antiquity as well as in ancient and modern Chinese medicine. In the time of Hippocrates, it was used to treat epilepsy. Dioscorides (40-90 A.D.) wrote that the root of the plant provokes menstruation and that it could be used to expel the placenta following childbirth. The root of herbaceous peonies has been used in Chinese medicine for 1500 years for menstrual disorders and to relieve the symptoms of menopause. Currently in Chinese medicine, the skin of the roots of a white variety of tree peony is used as a sedative for its “yin” properties.
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