The name: meaning of the name of the peony
The name Peonia derives from the Greek paionia, which means plant that heals: the roots of the plant have medicinal properties and its name recalls the episode of the Iliad in which Peone, doctor of the gods and student of Asclepius, heals Pluto, wounded by Hercules. For the oriental tradition the meaning of peony It is related to immortality, but its flowers are an emblem of transience because flowering lasts only a few weeks. ln the east the peony flower is revered as a bearer of good luck and good wishes for a happy marriage. Symbol of love and affection, it is also a bearer of prosperity, honor, value and nobility of mind. When in bloom, it brings peace. There are three ancient legends about peony: Asclepius, jealous of his pupil, attempted to kill him and Zeus to save him turned him into the peony plant; in another legend it is said that the peony was born in the place where Diana cried for the death that she herself had given to Orion; finally, a Chinese legend tells of the nymphs who used peony petals to hide.
The origins and characteristics of peony
Peony is the only genus of the Peony family: this family includes both perennial herbaceous species and deciduous shrubs. Herbaceous peonies are of European origin and include the varieties that derive from peonia officinalis: the stems each bear only one unscented flower; there is also a variety deriving from the peony lactiflora, originally from Siberia, whose stems bring more flowers to the scent of very decorative roses and colors that vary from white to red. Woody or arboreal peonies are native to China and Japan and are rather rustic plants. They are delicate but easy to grow plants in temperate and arid climate regions. They resist drought and bloom in spring. Peonies are planted in autumn or even in winter, but only if the soil is not frozen. The plant rests to develop roots and prepare for spring flowering. The suitable soil is clayey and rich in humus, without stagnation of water. Peonies love the sun and should be placed away from other bushes.