The Queen of China



My Mountain Granny told me that if I planted a peony in my garden it would live as long as I lived.  (Only she called it a Pay-oney.)  Checked that out with Google a few minutes ago, and the great OZ that works there says “up to 100 years”.  


This gorgeous and fragrant  Chinese flower has been around since 1000BC, and has a story-book history. 


The peony is the royal flower of China, you’ll find it painted on vases, teacups,  and canvas; embroidered on silk; woven into tapestries.  But the best place to find it is a sunny garden.


There is much symbolism linked to the peony.  The white peony represents  the beauty of  maidenhood,  red peonies are valued as life-enhancing .  Chinese youth exchange peonies as tokens of affection.


But before peonies were just a pretty face, they were medicinal herbs.  Up until the 17th century the petals, seeds, and roots were thought to help women through childbirth, ward off the evil-eye, purify and cool the blood, control epileptic seizures, ease baby’s teething pain, dissolve gall stones, and cure jaundice!  Have a cough?  Have some peony tea.


The flower was carried to Europe and then crossed the ocean with our pioneer settlers. Thank you.


Today I am wondering if that flowering shrub still thrives in Granny’s garden, planted over 60 years ago. 



~ by dottiedoright on January 4, 2010.

One Response to “The Queen of China”

  1. So do they grow in our area? I’d love to plant some in my yard but of course, I have a brown thumb.

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