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Peony - anon - Framed Print - 20"H x 16"W


Peony - anon - Framed Print - 20"H x 16"W

The peony is a flowering plant in the genus Paeonia, the only genus in the family Paeoniaceae. They are native to Asia, Europe and Western North America.

Most are herbaceous perennial plants, but some are woody shrubs. They have compound, deeply lobed leaves and large, often fragrant flowers, in colors ranging from red to white or yellow, in late spring and early summer. Peonies are among the most popular garden plants in temperate regions.

The peony is among the longest-used flowers in Eastern culture. The ancient Chinese city Luoyang has a reputation as a cultivation centre for the peonies. Throughout Chinese history, peonies in Luoyang have been said to be the finest in the country.

In the Middle Ages, peonies were often painted with their ripe seed-capsules, since it was the seeds, not the flowers, which were medically significant. Ancient superstition dictated that great care be taken not to be seen by a woodpecker while picking the plant's fruit, or the bird might peck out one's eyes.

Mischievous nymphs were said to hide in the petals of the Peony, giving it the meaning of Shame or Bashfulness in the Language of Flowers.

Famous painters of peonies have included Conrad Gessner and Auguste Renoir. The Italian painter Giuseppe Castiglione, who worked at the court of the Qianlong Emperor, painted peonies.

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