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.