Daily Archives: February 16, 2012

Throwback Thursday: Peony

Throwback Thursday: Peony

On Thursday we spotlight an heirloom variety. As the saying goes, what’s old is new. Throwback Thursday is meant to remind us of long lost friend or acquaint us with a lesser known oldie but goodie. I hope you enjoy Throwback Thursdays as much as I do. I’ll try to include as many varieties as possible along with pictures and links to where you can get your green thumbs on them.

Throwback Thursday spotlight on: Peony

Genus: Paeonia  Family: Paeoniaceae

A native to Asia, Southern Europe and Western North America

This herbaceous perennial is showy and delightful. It has an interesting mythology that captures our imaginations just as the cheerful flowers capture our attention. There is also a tree variety that has it’s own mythology and mystique.

The story goes that Paeon, a student of Asclepius, the greek god of medicine and healing, fell out of favor with his master. Asclepius was jealous of Paeon and wanted to kill him. Zeus intervened on behalf of Paeon, and turned him into a Peony to hide him from Asclepius.

Written accounts of the Peony are found as early as 581A.D. One myth has the feudal nation’s highest scholar dying rather than disobey the opposing commands of his Emperor and his parents. One year after the scholar’s death, a tree peony with enormous, blood-red flowers grew from his tomb. He would rather die than disobey his parents. Those were the days. = )

My favorite peony story is about Qing Long Wo Mo Chi, or Green Dragon Lying in an Ink Pool.  When a tree peony goddess saved a tiny, kind dragon from danger. She hid with it in an ink pool, saving his life but forever changing her flower color to nearly black.

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