12 facts about peony, the princess of the festive flowers

Peony is a beautiful symbol of spring celebrations. There are many interesting facts related to this flower; now we are presenting some of them.

1. Peony is a 60-80 cm tall perennial plant with fleshy roots. Its characteristic large red flowers bloom in May and June.

2. Red peony is an indigenous garden flower in Hungary, and it is associated with a number of springtime folk traditions.

3. Peony was known as a herbal medicine in the antiquity: it received its Greek name (paionia) after the god of healing, Apollo. Peony is also known as St. George’s flower or Pentecost rose.

4. According to the belief, those who placed peony petals into their bathing water became beautiful by the morning. Boys placed peony petals on girls’ windowsills as a form of greeting both them and the spring.

5. Peony became the symbolic flower of Pentecost because at the Pentecostal Mass peony petals were scattered from church towers.

6. In the Czech Republic peony used to be called Mary’s rose, or simply red clover, but the English call it bowl of beauty, a name that says it all.

7. Peony is the symbol of good fortune and a happy marriage. White or pink peonies can make the most beautiful early summer wedding bouquets.

8. Ants are very much attracted to peony because of the nectar on the outside of flower buds.

9. Peonies sometimes grow so large that in full bloom they are as large as a cabbage.

10. Red peony has healing effects. The Latin name of the plant is derived from the name of Paion, doctor of the Greek gods, who according to tradition healed people using the healing powers of red peony. He mostly used the root extract to treat jaundice, kidney and bladder illnesses and rheumatoid arthritis. Nevertheless, peony is a mildly poisonous plant, so it should be used carefully.

11. Red Pentecost day has been celebrated in many countries of Europe for a thousand years. Its symbolic plant is the Pentecost rose, whose flaming red petals represent the flaming tongues of the fire of the Holy Ghost.

12. The flower is indigenous in Hungary and lives on the territory of Eastern Mecsek. One of the most important habitats in Europe of the Banat peony is found on the Zengő ridge in Baranya county. According to botanical research, the Banat peony in Mecsek has survived several consecutive ice ages. Since 1982, peony has been highly protected in Hungary.

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