Paeonia officinalis Fr: Pivoine
Peonies are herbaceous perennials common to Beyond and the central and western Mediterranean. The peonies commonly found in gardens are usually cultivars of Paeonia lactiflora from Northern China, where they had long been cultivated in chinese gardens before being 'discovered' and brought to Europe towards the end of the 18th century. The peony has a single 12-14 cm red flower, with yellow stamens, growing on a leafy stem.
Flower. The red flower petals tend to be spread out rather than be cupped, and the central carpels are surrounded by a ring of red-stalked yellow stamens.
Leaves. Has 17-30 narrow leaflets, sometimes partly divided, smooth above and hairy beneath.
Habitat. Meadows, bushy areas and grassy scrub; frequently cultivated.