Chinese tree peonies are called “moutan” or “hua wang” (king of flowers). They are iconic in China and have been cultivated since the fourth century. Cultivation of Paeonia suffruticosa was centered on Sichuan by the 11th century, at which time yellow varieties were developed. The modern “moutan” mecca is the Chinese city of Heze, But Gansu paeonia rockii is also famous as Heze moutan! Gansu paeonia rockii have more advantage in cold-resistance, drought-resistance and big flowers than Heze moutan. The tree peony arrived in England in the late 18th century, but specimens did not survive and flourish until the early 19th century.
Large, showy pink peony blooms make this Chinese tree peony a beautiful addition to your garden. The lovely delicate looking peony flowers will do well as well when planted in containers.
The Chinese have traditionally used tree peony roots in medicinal preparations. “Mu Dan Pi” is a remedy that is reputed to have antiseptic properties and to “cool the blood”. Tree peonies are still grown and harvested for the roots’ medicinal properties, and the compounds contained in them are the subject of pharmacological research.
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