: "For the ancient Balkan region and tribe, see Paionia."Taxobox
name = Peony

image_width = 240px
image_caption = "Paeonia Suffruticosa"
regnum = Plantae
divisio = Magnoliophyta
classis = Magnoliopsida
ordo = Saxifragales
familia = Paeoniaceae
genus = "Paeonia"
genus_authority = L.
subdivision_ranks = Species
subdivision =

The peony or paeony ("Paeonia") is the only genus in the flowering plant family Paeoniaceae. They are native to Asia, southern Europe and western North America.

Most are herbaceous perennial plants 0.5–1.5 metres tall, but some are woody shrubs up to 1.5–3 metres tall. They have compound, deeply lobed leaves, and large, often fragrant flowers, ranging from red to white or yellow, in late spring and early summer. In the past, the peonies were often classified in the family Ranunculaceae, alongside Hellebores and Anemones.


The peony is named after Paeon or Paean, a student of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine and healing. Asclepius became jealous of his pupil; Zeus saved Paeon from the wrath of Asclepius by turning him into the peony flower. [ [ Flowers in Greek Mythology] , VALENTINE floral creations. Accessed 23 June 2008.]


*Herbaceous species (about 30 species)
**"Paeonia abchasica"
**"Paeonia anomala"
**"Paeonia bakeri"
**"Paeonia broteri"
**"Paeonia brownii" (Brown's Peony)
**"Paeonia californica" (California Peony)
**"Paeonia cambessedesii"
**"Paeonia caucasica"
**"Paeonia clusii"
**"Paeonia coriacea"
**"Paeonia daurica"
**"Paeonia emodi"
**"Paeonia hirsuta"
**"Paeonia intermedia"
**"Paeonia japonica" (Japanese Peony)
**"Paeonia kesrouanensis" (Syrian Peony)
**"Paeonia lactiflora" (Chinese Peony, "garden peony")
**"Paeonia macrophylla"
**"Paeonia mairei"
**"Paeonia mascula" (Balkan Peony)
**"Paeonia mlokosewitschii" (Golden Peony)
**"Paeonia obovata"
**"Paeonia officinalis" (European Peony)
**"Paeonia parnassica" (Greek Peony)
**"Paeonia peregrina"
**"Paeonia rhodia"
**"Paeonia sinjiangensis"
**"Paeonia sterniana"
**"Paeonia steveniana"
**"Paeonia tenuifolia"
**"Paeonia tomentosa"
**"Paeonia veitchii" (Veitch's Peony)
**"Paeonia wittmanniana"

*Woody species (about 10 species)
**"Paeonia decomposita"
**"Paeonia delavayi" (Delavay's Tree Peony)
**"Paeonia jishanensis" (syn. "Paeonia spontanea"; Jishan Peony)
**"Paeonia ludlowii" (Ludlow's Tree Peony)
**"Paeonia ostii" (Osti's Peony)
**"Paeonia potaninii"
**"Paeonia qiui" (Qiu's Peony)
**"Paeonia rockii" (syn. "Paeonia suffruticosa"; Rock's Peony or Tree Peony)

ymbolism and uses

The peony is among the longest-used flowers in ornamental culture and is one of the smallest living creature national emblems in China. Along with the plum blossom, it is a traditional floral symbol of China, where it is called 牡丹 (mǔ dān). It is also known as 富贵花 (fuguihua) "flower of riches and honour", and is used symbolically in Chinese art. [ Terese Tse Bartholomew, "Hidden Meanings in Chinese Art" (San Francisco: Asian Art Museum/Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture), 2006.] In 1903, the Qing Dynasty declared the peony as the national flower. Currently, the Republic of China on Taiwan designates the plum blossom as the national flower, while the People's Republic of China has no legally designated national flower. In 1994, the peony was proposed as the national flower after a nationwide poll, but the National People's Congress failed to ratify the selection. In 2003, another selection process has begun, but to date, no choice has been made.

The famous ancient Chinese city Luoyang has a reputation as a cultivation centre for the peonies. Throughout Chinese history, peonies in Luoyang are often said to be the finest in the country. Dozens of peony exhibitions and shows are still held there annually.

In Japan, "Paeonia lactiflora" used to be called "ebisugusuri" ("foreign medicine"). In "kampo" (the Japanese adaptation of Chinese medicine), its root was used as a treatment for convulsions. It is also cultivated as a garden plant. In Japan "Paeonia suffruticosa" is called the "The King of flowers" and "Paeonia lactiflora" is called the "prime minister of flowers". [Sasaki, Sanmi. 2005. "Chado: The Way of Tea: A Japanese Tea Master's Almanac". Translated from the Japanese by Shaun McCabe and Iwasaki Satoko. Boston: Tuttle. Page 247.]

Pronunciation of 牡丹 (peony) in Japan is "botan". Before the Meiji period, meat taken from quadrupeds was seldom consumed in Japan due to Buddhism. Thus in cases where such meat was handled, it was paraphrased using the names of flowers. The term botan was used (and is still used) to paraphrase wild boar meat. This comes from the flowery resemblance of the sliced meat when spread over a dish. Another example is sakura (cherry blossoms) which stands for horsemeat.

In 1957, the Indiana General Assembly passed a law to make the peony the state flower of Indiana, a title which it holds to this day. It replaced the zinnia, which had been the state flower since 1931.

Mischievous nymphs were said to hide in the petals of the Peony thus causing this magnificent flower to be given the meaning of Shame or Bashfulness in the Language of Flowers. It was named after Pæon, a physician to the gods, who obtained the plant on Mount Olympus from the mother of Apollo. Once planted the Peony likes to be left alone and punishes those who try to move it by not flowering again for several years. Once established, however, it produces splendid blooms each year for decades(Taken from "The Language of Flowers", edited by Sheila Pickles, 1990).

Peonies are also extensively grown as ornamental plants for their very large, often scented flowers.

Peonies tend to attract ants to the flower buds. This is due to the nectar that forms on the outside of the flower buds.

Peonies are a common subject in tattoos, often used along with koi-fish.


A_cultivated_hybrid_peonyImage:Pfingstrose.jpg|A_cultivar of "Paeonia lactiflora"
Paeonia peregrina


References and external links

* [ Paeoniaceae in Topwalks]
* [ Germplasm Resources Information Network: "Paeonia"]
* [ Flora Europaea: "Paeonia"]
* [ Peony species]
* [ Flora of China: "Paeonia"]
* [ Ornamental Plants from Russia: "Paeonia"]
* [ Canadian Peony Society]
* [ U.S. Peony Society]
* [ Carsten Burkhardt's Open Source Peony Project]
* [ German Peony Group]
* [ "China Daily" article on the 2003 national flower selection process]
*1911 edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica
* [ Rockii Tree Peony]
* [ Paeonia mascula in the National Park of Alta Murgia, Apulia - Southern Italy ]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно сделать НИР?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • peony — [pē′ə nē] n. pl. peonies [ME pione < OE peonie & OFr peoine, both < L paeonia < Gr paiōnia, after Paiōn, epithet of APOLLO, physician of the gods: from its former medicinal use] 1. any of a genus (Paeonia) of perennial, often double… …   English World dictionary

  • Peony — Pe o*ny, n.; pl. {Peonies}. [OE. pione, pioine, pioni, OF. pione, F. pivoine, L. paeonia, Gr. ?, fr. ?, ?, the god of healing. Cf. {P[ae]an}.] (Bot.) A plant, and its flower, of the ranunculaceous genus {P[ae]onia}. Of the four or five species,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • peony — a merger of O.E. peonie and O.N.Fr. pione, both from L.L. peonia, from L. pæonia, from Gk. paionia (fem. of paionios), perhaps from Paion, physician of the gods (or Apollo in this aspect), supposedly so called for the plant s healing qualities.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • peony — (also paeony) ► NOUN ▪ a herbaceous or shrubby plant cultivated for its showy flowers. ORIGIN Greek pai nia, from Pai n, the physician of the gods …   English terms dictionary

  • peony — /pee euh nee/, n., pl. peonies. any of various plants or shrubs of the genus Paeonia, having large, showy flowers, as the widely cultivated species P. lactiflora: the state flower of Indiana. [bef. 1000; ME < LL peonia, L paeonia < Gk paionía… …   Universalium

  • peony — UK [ˈpiːənɪ] / US [ˈpɪənɪ] noun [countable] Word forms peony : singular peony plural peonies a plant with large pink, red, or white flowers, or one of the flowers …   English dictionary

  • peony — noun (plural nies) Etymology: Middle English piony, from Anglo French peonie, pioiné, from Latin paeonia, from Greek paiōnia, from Paiōn Paeon, physician of the gods Date: 14th century 1. any of a genus (Paeonia of the family Paeoniaceae) of… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • peony — [[t]pi͟ːəni[/t]] peonies also paeony N COUNT A peony is a medium sized garden plant which has large round flowers, usually pink, red, or white …   English dictionary

  • peony — pe•o•ny [[t]ˈpi ə ni[/t]] n. pl. nies pln any of various plants of the genus Paeonia, having large showy flowers, as P. lactiflora[/ex] • Etymology: bef. 1000; late MEpyony, MEpione(< AF, OF), OE peonie < L paeōnia < Gk paiōnía peony… …   From formal English to slang

  • peony — bijūnas statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Bijūninių (Paeoniaceae) šeimos augalų gentis (Paeonia). atitikmenys: lot. Paeonia angl. peony vok. Paeonie; Pfingstrose rus. пеон; пион lenk. piwonia …   Dekoratyvinių augalų vardynas

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”