Paeonia is the sole genus of flowering plant in family Paeoniaceae, comprising 25-40 species. It's common name is Peony. Paeonia is native to Asia, southern Europe and western North America. Peony is named after Paeon, a student of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine and healing. Zeus saved Paeon from the wrath of Asclepius by turning him into peony flower as Asclepius became jealous of his student.
Paeonia are herbaceous perennial plants (0.5-1.5m tall) and woody shrubs (1.5-3m tall). The plants have compound, deeply lobed leaves, and large, fragrant flowers with colors ranging from red to white or yellow, blooming in late spring or early summer. Peonies are grown for their large and fragrant flowers. Ants are attracted to the nectar which forms on the outside of the flower buds.
Plant Peonies in sun or partial shade, fertile and moisture-retentive soil. Most newly planted peonies won't flower in first year so you might have to wait until the third year for it to bear beautiful flowers. Beware of pest and disease like eelworms and honey fungus.
Paeonia veitchii Author: Christer Johansson (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)