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Showing posts from August 30, 2012

What is the history of peony ?

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In the Far East, and particularly in China, “the king of flowers” is a true object of cult. In 1000 B.C. it was already protected by the emperor who used to pay great sums of money for the most beautiful varieties, thus promoting hybridization and selection. Thanks to the imperial favor, peonies also became the prime decoration motif of Chinese porcelains, especially during the Ching and Ming dynasties.

In Europe, peonies existed in several species, all herbaceous, and in ancient times they were primarily known for their healing properties. According to Greek mythology, Peon, doctor of the gods and Aesculapius’ pupil, healed Pluto’s wounds using peony’s roots; the god, in order to express gratitude and to protect him from the envy of his colleagues, gave him the gift of immortality transforming him into a flower: the peony. In Europe, peonies became to be appreciated for their ornamental value only during the 18th century, after some English and French botanists introduced them; this …