Paeonia officinalis

Botanical Name : Paeonia officinalis
Family: Paeoniaceae
Genus:    Paeonia
Species: P. officinalis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Saxifragales

Synonym: Paeonia Corallina.

Common Names : European peony or common peony

Habitat :Paeonia officinalis is  native to Europe.

Description:
Paeonia officinalis is an herbaceous perennial plant, growing to 60–70 cm (24–28 in) tall and wide, with leaves divided into 9 leaflets, and bowl-shaped deep pink or deep red flowers, 10–13 cm (4–5 in) in diameter, in late spring (May in the Northern Hemisphere).
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Cultivated in Europe for five hundred years, P. officinalis was first used for medicinal purposes, then grown as an ornamental. Many selections are now used in horticulture, though the typical species is uncommon. Paeonia officinalis is still found wild in Europe.

The cultivar ‘Rubra Plena’ (deep crimson double flowered) has gained the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit.

Cultivation:
Peonies are extremely hardy and will grow in almost any soil or situation, in sun or shade. The best soil, however, is a deep, rich loam, which should be well trenched and manured, previous to planting.

Propagation is by division of roots, which increase very quickly. The best season for transplanting is towards the end of August, or the beginning of September. In dividing the roots, care must be taken to preserve a bud upon the crown of each offset.

Single varieties are generally propagated from seeds, sown in autumn, soon after they are ripe, upon a bed of light soil, covering them with 1/2 inch of soil. Water well in dry weather and keep clear from weeds. Leave the young plants in this bed two years, transplanting in September.

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Medicinal Uses:

Part Used: The root, dried and powdered. It is dug in the autumn, from plants at least two years old. The roots should be cleansed carefully in cold water with a brush and only be allowed to remain in the water as short a time as possible. Then spread out on trays in the sun, or on the floor, or on shelves in a kitchen, or other warm room for ten days or more. When somewhat shrunken, roots may be finished off more quickly in greater heat over a stove or gas fire, or in an open oven, when the fire has just gone out. Dried roots must always be dry to the core and brittle.

Antispasmodic, tonic. Paeony root has beensuccessfully employed in convulsions and spasmodic nervous affections, such as epilepsy, etc.

It was formerly considered very efficacious for lunacy. An old writer tells us: ‘If a man layeth this wort over the lunatic as he lies, soon he upheaveth himself whole.’

The infusion of 1 OZ. of powdered root in a pint of boiling water is taken in wineglassful doses, three or four times daily.

An infusion of the powdered root has been recommended for obstructions of the liver, and for complaints arising from such obstructions.

Homeopathic remidies of Peony :

Other Uses:
This is a compact woodland peony that is best suited to open woodland areas, shade gardens, shaded areas of the border or cottage gardens. It also could be effective as a low herbaceous hedge or edger. Flowers are extremely showy, and foliage remains attractive throughout the growing season either alone or in combination with other flowering/foliage shade perennials such as hostas.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/p/paeony01.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paeonia_officinalis
http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=e905

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