1. The peony family is of the order Dilleniales made up of 33 species in the genus Paeonia, and is distributed through most areas of the world.
2. Most peonies fail because they develop root rot from standing water, are planted to deep in the soil, or don't get enough sun.
3. Ants are not necessary for peonies to flourish.
4. There are peonies on record that have lived for over 70 years.
5. Peonies are a common motif in art, as represented here by Frederic Bazille's "Young Woman With Peonies".
6. Peonies were once thought to groan or moan when pulled out of the ground.
7. Peony blooms can grow to 6" across.
8. Peonies have been considered sacred in some cultures, and were believed to keep nightmares and evil spirits at bay.
9. Now considered poisonous, powered peony root was once prescribed as a tonic for liver disease.
10. The original peony had a single coloration, pinkish-purple.
11. Peony roots can spread as deep as 15" and up 18" from the central stem.
12. Less well known varieties of peonies are the tree peonies.
13. Peony leaves alternate on their stems and are often bronze when young. On many varieties the leaves turn reddish brown in the fall.
14, Peonies love well rotted manure.
15. Peony wilt is a fungus that can survive, dormant in the soil, until revived by a spate of wet weather. It is characterized by a gray mold on young peony stems that will cause new growth to wilt and turn brown. It may require sterilizing the soil to successfully combat it.
For more information about peonies, visit: Peonies the Princess of the Garden