Herbs & Plants

Paeonia lutea

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

Synonyms: P. lutea var. ludlowii, P. delavayi ssp. ludlowii

Common Names: Tibetan tree peony, Ludlow’s tree peony, Dian mu dan

Habitat: Paeonia lutea is native to E. Asia – S.W. China. Spruce forests and the edge of scrub in open pastures at altitudes of 3,300 – 4,000 metres.

Paeonia lutea is a deciduous Shrub growing to 1.5 m (5ft) by 3 m (9ft).It has ten chromosomes (2n=10). It is in flower in June. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.


Stems and leaves :…...CLICK & SEE
The roots get narrower further down and are not fused together. There are no creeping stems (or stolons). The grey to light brown stems grow in clumps (or caespitose), do not branch often, remain approximately the same width during the growing season, and after some years may reach 4 cm in diameter. Young stems are light green, with at their base eight to twelve scales. Leaves are light green above and glaucous pale green below. In the lowest leaves, the leaf stalk is 9–15 cm long, while the leaf blade is twice compounded or deeply divided (or biternate), with the primary leaflets on a short stem of 2–3 cm, the leaflet blades 6-12 × 5–13 cm, those usually incised almost to the base, having three segments, at base extending along the stalk until disappearing (or decurrent). Each of the segments 4-9 × 1½-4 cm, mostly incised to midlength into three lobes of 2-5 × ½-1½ cm, with an entire margin or one or two teeth, pointy at their tips.

Fruit and seed:...CLICK & SEE
The carpels develop into cylindrical fruits (or follicles) of 4¾-7 × 2-3? cm. These contain eventually dark brown, globose seeds of 1? cm in August


Requires a deep rich soil, preferably neutral or slightly alkaline, doing quite well in sun or light shade. Prefers a limy soil and a sheltered position. Plants are tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions, but will not survive if the soil becomes waterlogged or is too dry. This species is lime tolerant. Plants grown on sandy soils tend to produce more leaves and less flowers, whilst those growing on clay take longer to become established but produce better blooms. Hardy to about -15°c, plants do better in the north of Britain than they do in the south and are generally best if given an open northerly aspect. This species is not recognised by some Chinese botanists, who hold that it is no more than a form of P. delavayi. A very ornamental plant. It grows best in areas with long hot summers and requires an airy position because it is very subject to fungal attack. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[200]. Plants come into growth early in the year and are then subject to damage by late frosts, they are therefore best sited in a position that is shaded from the morning sun. The branches are brittle and very subject to wind damage, especially when young. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits. A very greedy plant inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes. The plant does not really need much pruning apart from removing dead or diseased stems. It is, however, very tolerant of pruning and can be cut right back to ground level if it requires rejuvenation. This species strongly resents root disturbance, taking some time to recover after being divided. Peony species are usually self-fertile, though they will also hybridise with other species if these flower nearby at the same time. Plants take 4 – 5 years to flower from seed. They generally breed true from seed. Cultivated in China as a medicinal plant.

Edible Uses:
Flowers – cooked. The fallen flower petals are parboiled and sweetened for a teatime delicacy, or cooked in various dishes.

Medicinal Uses:
Paeonia lutea is cultivated at china as a medical plant. The bark obtained from the root has an antimicrobial effect upon various bacteria, including Escherichia coli, typhoid, cholera, Staphylococcus aureus, streptococcus hemolyticus and Pneumococci. The root is also anti-inflammatory and has been used with success in the treatment of arthritic joint swelling. The root is also analgesic, sedative and anticonvulsant, it has a high success rate in the treatment of dysentery and can also be used to treat allergic rhinitis. The plant is used internally in the treatment of fevers, boils, menstrual disorders, nosebleeds, ulcers, irritability and gastro-intestinal infections. This remedy should only be used under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. The herb acts as a synergist when used with liquorice (Glycyrrhiza spp). A tea made from the dried crushed petals of various peony species has been used as a cough remedy, and as a treatment for haemorrhoids and varicose veins.

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


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