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Uses

Toxic parts

The entire plant is poisonous if taken in large doses[1][2].

Edible uses

Notes

Flowers - cooked. They can be used as a vegetable[3] or to scent tea[4]. The hot seeds are ground into a powder and used as a spice in ale or in the food that accompanies it[4]. (Does this mean that the seed is heated before grinding, or that it has a hot flavour?[K])

Unknown part

Flowers

Material uses

There are no material uses listed for Paeonia officinalis.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Peony root has been used medicinally for over 2,000 years and it gained a reputation as a treatment for epilepsy and to promote menstruation. This species was very popular up to the 16th century, but is little used in contemporary European herbalism, though it is sometimes employed where an antispasmodic and sedative are required[5][6].

The root is antispasmodic, diuretic, sedative and tonic[7][1][2]. The root is harvested in the autumn from plants that are at least two years old and is dried for later use[7]. It has been successfully employed in the treatment of convulsions and spasmodic nervous affections such as epilepsy[7][1]. It has also been used in the treatment of whooping cough whilst suppositories are sometimes made of the root to relieve anal and intestinal spasms[6]. This remedy should be used with caution and not at all by pregnant women. Large doses can be toxic[1][2][6].

A tea made from the dried crushed petals of various peony species has been used as a cough remedy, and as a treatment for haemorrhoids and varicose veins[8].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[8]. When sown fresh, the seed produces a root about 6 weeks after sowing with shoots formed in the spring[9]. Stored seed is much slower, it should be sown as soon as possible in a cold frame but may take 18 months or more to germinate[9]. The roots are very sensitive to disturbance, so many growers allow the seedlings to remain in their pots for 2 growing seasons before potting them up. This allows a better root system to develop that is more resilient to disturbance[8]. If following this practice, make sure you sow the seed thinly, and give regular liquid feeds in the growing season to ensure the plants are well fed. We usually prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle, and then grow them on in a cold frame for at least two growing seasons before planting them out when they are in growth in the spring[K]. Division with great care in spring or autumn. Each portion must have a leaf bud. If the lifted root is stood in shade for several hours it becomes less brittle and easier to divide[9]. Divisions that have several buds will usually flower in the second year, but those that only have one or two buds will take a number of years before they have grown sufficiently to flower[8].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Paeonia officinalis. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Requires a deep rich soil, preferably neutral or slightly alkaline[10][11], doing quite well in sun or light shade[9]. Plants are tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions, but will not survive if the soil becomes waterlogged or is too dry[8]. This species is lime tolerant[9]. Plants grown on sandy soils tend to produce more leaves and less flowers, whilst those growing on clay take longer to become established but produce better blooms[8]. Plants can be naturalised in grass so long as the soil is good[11].

Hardy to about -25°c[12]. A very variable plant, there are at least 4 sub-species[8]. There are a number of named forms, selected for their ornamental value[12]. A long-lived plant, living for 50 years or more in gardens[9]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits[11]. A very greedy plant inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes[13]. This species can spread fairly freely by means of its tuberous rootstock[11]. Strongly resents root disturbance, taking some time to recover after being divided[10]. Peony species are usually self-fertile, though they will also hybridise with other species if these flower nearby at the same time[8].

Plants take 4 - 5 years to flower from seed[9]. They generally breed true from seed[10].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Paeonia officinalis. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Paeonia officinalis.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Paeonia officinalis
Genus
Paeonia
Family
Paeoniaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
8
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    "image:Paeonia officinalis 3.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Paeonia officinalis 3.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


    "image:Paeonia officinalis 3.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Paeonia officinalis 3.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Paeonia officinalis 3.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Paeonia officinalis 3.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Paeonia officinalis 3.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Paeonia officinalis 3.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Paeonia officinalis 3.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Paeonia officinalis 3.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Paeonia officinalis 3.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Paeonia officinalis 3.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.






    References

    1. ? 1.01.11.21.31.4 Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (1984-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.12.22.3 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.1 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.14.2 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.1 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.16.26.3 Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (1996-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.17.27.3 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.18.28.38.48.58.68.78.8 Page. M. The Gardener's Guide to Growing Peonies. David & Charles. Newton Abbot. ISBN 0 7153 0531 X (1997-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.19.29.39.49.59.69.7 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.110.2 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.111.211.3 Thomas. G. S. Perennial Garden Plants J. M. Dent & Sons, London. ISBN 0 460 86048 8 (1990-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.1 Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Perennials Volumes 1 and 2. Pan Books ISBN 0-330-30936-9 (1991-00-00)
    13. ? Hatfield. A. W. How to Enjoy your Weeds. Frederick Muller Ltd ISBN 0-584-10141-4 (1977-00-00)

    "image:Paeonia officinalis 3.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

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    Has edible partUnknown part + and Flowers +
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    Has lifecycle typePerennial +
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    Has mature width0.6 +
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    Has medicinal useAntispasmodic +, Diuretic +, Sedative + and Tonic +
    Has primary imagePaeonia officinalis 3.jpg +
    Has search namepaeonia officinalis + and peony +
    Has shade toleranceLight shade +
    Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral + and Alkaline +
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    Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
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    Has water requirementsmoderate +
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