ALAINN: “BEAUTIFUL, FINE, LOVELY”. (IRISH) OLD IRISH ÁLAIND‎

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(Paeonia anomala)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Paeonia anomala
Paeoniaceae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    The root is astringent and stomachic[61].

    The Chinese herb Chi Shao Yao is made from the whole root of a number of peony species, especially P. lactiflora, but also occasionally this species[250]. The most important ingredient medicinally in the root is paeoniflorin, which has been shown to have a strong antispasmodic effect on mammalian intestines, it also reduces blood pressure, reduces body temperature caused by fever and protects against stress ulcers[250].

    A tea made from the dried crushed petals of various peony species has been used as a cough remedy, and as a treatment for haemorrhoids and varicose veins[250].

  • Edible Use

    Root – dried and cooked with protein foods[74, 250].

    Young shoots – cooked[177].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[250]. When sown fresh, the seed produces a root about 6 weeks after sowing with shoots formed in the spring[200]. Stored seed is much slower, it should be sown as soon as possible in a cold frame but may take 18 months or more to germinate[200]. The roots are very sensitive to disturbance, so many growers allow the seedlings to remain in their pots for 2 growing seasons before potting them up. This allows a better root system to develop that is more resilient to disturbance[250]. If following this practice, make sure you sow the seed thinly, and give regular liquid feeds in the growing season to ensure the plants are well fed. We usually prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle, and then grow them on in a cold frame for at least two growing seasons before planting them out when they are in growth in the spring[K]. Division with great care in spring or autumn. Each portion must have a leaf bud. If the lifted root is stood in shade for several hours it becomes less brittle and easier to divide[200]. Divisions that have several buds will usually flower in the second year, but those that only have one or two buds will take a number of years before they have grown sufficiently to flower[250].
An easily grown plant, it does best in a deep rich soil, preferably neutral or slightly alkaline[1], doing quite well in sun or light shade[1, 200]. Plants are tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions, but will not survive if the soil becomes waterlogged or is too dry[250]. This species is lime tolerant[200]. Plants grown on sandy soils tend to produce more leaves and less flowers, whilst those growing on clay take longer to become established but produce better blooms[250]. Very cold resistant[74], tolerating temperatures down to at least -25¡c[187]. A very ornamental[74] and long-lived plant, specimens can survive in the garden for at least 50 years[200]. This species is closely related to P. veitchii, differing mainly in only having one flower to a stem[250]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits[233]. A very greedy plant inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes[54]. Strongly resents root disturbance, taking some time to recover after being divided[1]. Peony species are usually self-fertile, though they will also hybridise with other species if these flower nearby at the same time[250]. Plants take 4 – 5 years to flower from seed[200]. They generally breed true from seed[1].
Europe to C. Asia.

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*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.