Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Peony (Pceonia), a large genus of herbaceous and shrubby plants belonging to the Ranunculaceas, characterised by a disk below the stamens and a fruit consisting of one, two, three, or five rather fleshy follicles. P. corallina grows on the Steep Holm, an island in the Severn, but is not indigenous. P. officinalis is the common large-flowered herbaceous peony of our gardens; and P. Montan, sometimes placed in a distinct genus on account of the disk growing up as an irregular cup round the five carpels, is the tree-peony, said to be native to Northern China, where it grows 10 feet high and is known as "Men-tang," the king of flowers. In English gardens it seldom reaches half that height. The flowers are white, pink, crimson, or spotted,. and in cultivation are generally double.