Plants

Peony flower

Peony flower origins

The peony is one of the peonies and has oriental origins: in China it is nicknamed «the queen of flowers», because its flower is very large, has many petals and, in the original species, is pink or purple. Today, however, there are many hybrids and many varieties even of different colors. The peony is a flower that has a long history: loved and appreciated since ancient times, it was known and cultivated in many areas of the world even before the birth of Christ, it is no coincidence that it is one of the most represented flowers on Chinese porcelain and often appears also in myths and legends of various civilizations. In Europe the peonyit was imported in the nineteenth century but it really spread only in the twentieth century, when the great botanists of the time studied its characteristics and began experimenting with hybrids to obtain increasingly beautiful flowers. In the language of flowers today the peony flower indicates a strong and sincere love.

Characteristic peony flowers


In botany, peonies are divided into two categories: shrubs and herbaceous ones. The former are woody in character, have several branches on which leaves and flowers sprout in abundance in spring: the shrubs also have a bushy bearing and can reach up to two meters in diameter. Herbaceous peonies, on the other hand, have the only particularity of losing the apical part during the cold months: in spring, however, new strains are born from the roots and in a short time the plant returns to bloom. But it is not only the flower that makes this plant beautiful and extremely decorative: the leaves are also very beautiful, of an intense green color, while the branches are strong, vigorous and lush. In our country it is easy to meet peonies in hilly and wooded areas; from the nursery, on the other hand,

Peony flower cultivation


Peonies have fleshy roots that store nutrients, which is why this plant can withstand even harsh winters. Herbaceous varieties are grown mainly as a flower bed or border plant, while shrub ones are used as an isolated bush, decorative thanks to their splendid flowers, or with other specimens to form beautiful and dense hedges. The peony adapts to any environment, but prefers low alkaline soils; it should be watered regularly but without excess water that could cause the basal part to rot. In autumn all the branches must be pruned, not drastically, but only by shortening them by at least ten centimeters to allow the plant to regenerate. Flowering is later than other plants, but ends earlier,

Multiplication peony flower


In the case of the shrub peony, the multiplication can be done by grafting on the root from the end of August to the end of September: it is necessary to take the branches produced during the current year. Alternatively, the stumps can be divided in September: the stumps that grow at the base of the stem must be removed, choosing those complete with roots, and planted in new soil, possibly rich in humus. Finally, it is possible to proceed with the propagation by seed, but it is rare that the new plant is identical to the mother one, given the high number of hybrids in circulation. Among other things, with sowing it will be necessary to wait several years before having a mature plant able to bloom abundantly. The peony flower is also widely used as a cut flower: it must be picked when it is not yet completely open, that is when it is still a bud,

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