Peonies have been used and cultivated for over 4000 years in China. There are hundreds of cultivars, of which only a few can be found in gardens in Central Europe.
In Europe, herbaceous peonies are a part of ancient Greek mythology and are highly regarded for their medicinal properties. The root, bark, seed and flowers were all believed to have medicinal uses in eastern Asia and Europe. Ancient Greeks and Christians from the Middle Ages believed peonies were a symbol for healing. They were used to treat stomach pains, bladder issues, jaundice and even nightmares.