Saturday, 17 November 2012

Paeonia officinalis – Common Peony

To dedicated the Europe Nature ProtectionSerbia Post has issued one miniature sheet consist of two stamps feature the Paeonia officinalis on February 10, 2010. Paeonia officinalis, or European peony, Common peony, is the common peony cultivated in Europe for five hundred years.
Paeonia officinalis is a perennial  growing to 0.6 m  by 0.6 m. It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen in July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by insects.

The plant is self-fertile. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.Its habitat are rocky woodlands and meadows, usually on limestone.

 Flower’s parts  are edible if  cooked. They can be used as a vegetable or to scent tea. The hot seeds are ground into a powder and used as a spice in ale or in the food that accompanies. The entire plant is poisonous if taken in large doses.

Paeonia officinalis was first used for medicinal purposes, then grown as an ornamental. Many selections are now used in horticulture, though the typical species is uncommon.  

Paeonia officinalis is still found wild in Europe ranges from France to Albania.

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