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Glossary ListGlossary Term 
Tree Peonies
[From Peonies, by Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall, p. 14:] 'tree peonies' are deciduous woody shrubs. They are not trees, being invariably multi-stemmed and seldom growing taller than 2 or 2.5 m (6 or 8 ft).


[Ibid, p. 16:] China is also the unique home of the wild Moutan or tree peony from which all others are bred.


[Ibid, p. 16:] Hybrids and cultivated varieties of both tree and herbaceous peonies have flowers ranging from single to very full double, but the wild species from which they are bred all have single flowers...


[Ibid, p. 23:] the Moutan or tree peony has always been first favourite in China
[Ibid, p. 26:] There are no tree peonies native to Japan but Chinese species were introduced by Buddhists from about AD 734. They are known there as Botan or Bhotan


[Ibid, p. 44:] In China 'peony' nearly always refers to the tree peony or Mudan (Moutan in English, sometimes spelt Mou Tan China's national flower... In the past, tree peonies have also been called Hua Wang which means 'the King of Flowers'... Yet another name for the tree peony is Fu Gui, meaning 'wealthy and honorable'... Nowadays the general term Mudan is used in China for both tree and herbaceous peonies, although in the West, a Moutan is always a tree peony...


[Ibid, p. 69:] Each month is represented by a flower, and the month of the Moutan, or tree peony, is the fourth month of the Chinese calendar. In art the Moutan also represents spring... The gift of a Moutan symbolized an offer of friendship...


[Ibid, p. 70:] Since the tree peony was called 'the King of Flowers' and was also an emblem of prosperity, it was natural that it should become the Flower of Kings. Emperors surrounded themselves with Moutans.


[Ibid, p. 80:] During the Qing Dynasty the Dowager Empress Ci Xi (1835-1908) declared the tree peony the national flower of China... In 1994 a vote was taken throughout China to choose a new national flower. The tree peony came out top.


[Ibid, p. 83:] In Japan three flowers traditionally have royal rank: the peony, the cherry and the lotus. The tree peony was called 'the Flower of Prosperity' and 'the Flower of Twenty Days'


[From Peonies, by Allan Rogers, p. 3:] Tree peonies are almost entirely propagated by grafting...
[Ibid, p. 7:] Tree peonies... can be successfully grown in large pots or containers for years, requiring only that their tops and roots be kept in balance. In Asian cultures, potted tree peonies are prominently displayed when in bloom so that they can be contemplated in all their glory for hours on end...


[Ibid, p. 15:] The first tree peony grown in the West was brought to England... in 1789, by a Mr. Duncan of the British East India Company...
[From The Book of Tree Peonies, by Gan Lupo Osti, p. 9:] grow wild only in restricted, remote mountainous areas of China that in the past were often closed to foreigners...
[Ibid, p. 18:] In the sixth century, tree peonies were introduced into Japan by Buddhist monks
[Ibid, p. 20:] In the first half of the nineteenth century some European nurseries started to import peonies from the Far East...


[From Botanica: The Illustrated A-Z..., p. 631:] cultivars of this group produce the largest and most magnificent of all peony flowers, some approaching a diameter of 12 in (30 cm), mostly double and often beautifully frilled or ruffled...

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