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Paeonia delavayi - Franch.                
                 
Common Name Tree Peony, Dian mu dan
Family Paeoniaceae
Synonyms
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Shady, moist areas of pine forests, in forest clearings and among scrub at altitudes of between 3,050 - 3,650 metres[250].
Range E. Asia - China in Yunnan and Likiang.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of shrub
Paeonia delavayi is a deciduous Shrub growing to 1.6 m (5ft) by 3 m (9ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.


USDA hardiness zone : 5-9


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Paeonia delavayi Tree Peony, Dian mu dan


Paeonia delavayi Tree Peony, Dian mu dan
   
Habitats       
Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Flowers.
Edible Uses:

The following use is for P. suffruticosa. It quite probably also applies to this closely-related species.[K - see 214]. Flowers - cooked[46, 61, 177]. The fallen flower petals are parboiled and sweetened for a teatime delicacy, or can be cooked in various dishes[183].
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Analgesic;  Antibacterial;  Antiinflammatory;  Antispasmodic.

The bark obtained from the root has an antimicrobial effect upon various bacteria, including Escherichia coli, typhoid, cholera, Staphylococcus aureus, streptococcus hemolyticus and Pneumococci[250]. The root is also anti-inflammatory and has been used with success in the treatment of arthritic joint swelling[250]. The root is also analgesic, sedative and anticonvulsant, it has a high success rate in the treatment of dysentery and can also be used to treat allergic rhinitis[250]. The plant is used internally in the treatment of fevers, boils, menstrual disorders, nosebleeds, ulcers, irritability and gastro-intestinal infections[238]. This remedy should only be used under the supervision of a qualified practitioner[238]. The herb acts as a synergist when used with liquorice (Glycyrrhiza spp)[218]. 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].
Other Uses
None known
Cultivation details                                         
An easily grown and undemanding plant[250], it prefers a deep rich soil, preferably neutral or slightly alkaline[1], doing quite well in sun or light shade[1]. Prefers a limy soil and a sheltered position[200]. Grows well in heavy clay soils and on chalk[184].Plants are tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions, but will not survive if the soil becomes waterlogged or is too dry[250]. 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]. Hardy to about -20°c[184], plants do better in the north of Britain than they do in the south and are generally best if given an open northerly aspect[11]. A very ornamental and long-lived plant[1], it grows rapidly and produces lots of lateral shoots[250]. It grows best in areas with long hot summers[1] and requires an airy position because it is very subject to fungal attack[11]. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[200]. This species comes into growth early in the year but unlike P. suffruticosa it does not seem to be subject to damage by late frosts[11]. It is probably best still given a position sheltered from the early morning sun. The branches are brittle and very subject to wind damage, especially when young[200]. This species is closely related to P. lutea[11]. 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. The plant does not really need much pruning apart from removing dead or diseased stems. It is, however, very tolerant of pruning and can be cut right back to ground level if it requires rejuvenation[200]. 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]. This species will often self-sow freely when well sited[250]. Plants take 4 - 5 years to flower from seed[200]. They generally breed true from seed[1]. Cultivated in China as a medicinal plant[214].
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
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].
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
Franch.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
11200266
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[11]Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
[46]Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants.
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
[61]Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
[177]Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption.
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
[183]Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
[184]Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Shrubs.
Excellent photographs and a terse description of 1900 species and cultivars.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[214]Matthews. V. The New Plantsman. Volume 1, 1994.
A quarterly magazine, it has articles on Himalayacalamus hookerianus, hardy Euphorbias and an excellent article on Hippophae spp.
[218]Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China
Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.
[233]Thomas. G. S. Perennial Garden Plants
A concise guide to a wide range of perennials. Lots of cultivation guides, very little on plant uses.
[238]Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
[250]Page. M. The Gardener's Guide to Growing Peonies.
A nice little book on the genus, giving information on their cultivation and a little info on plant uses.

Readers comment                                         
 
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