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Peony (Paeonia)

   Peony (Paeonia), fam. Paeoniaceae.
   An ornamental plant of the city. Blooms in late May till early June. The name of the plant has nothing common with the word "pioneer", as someone could think. Moreover, this is far from being the first among the spring flowers. Actually, the plant's name originates from the name of Paeon, the ancient Greek mythical student of Asclepius, who probably used this plant extensively in his medicinal practice.
   By the way, until the 1800s, peonies were used exclusively as medicinal plants and spices. The alcohol tincture of peony root (especialy from Paeonia anomala species) normalizes metabolism, provides sedative effect, increases stomach acidity, and lowers blood pressure. The latter property is responsible for danger of its overdose.

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