The peony is named after Paeon, a student of Asclepius (the Greek god of medicine and healing). Asclepius became jealous of his pupil; Zeus saved Paeon from the wrath of Asclepius by turning him into a peony flower. The peony or paeony (Paeonia) is the only genus in the flowering plant family Paeoniaceae. They are native to Asia, southern Europe and western North America.
Most are herbaceous perennial plants 0.5–1.5 metres tall, but some are woody shrubs up to 1.5–3 metres tall. They have compound, deeply lobed leaves, and large, often fragrant flowers, ranging from red to white or yellow, in late spring and early summer.