One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A tall shrubby peony with pink or white blotched flowers, native to China and Tibet and the parent of many garden varieties.
Paeonia suffruticosa, family Paeoniaceae
- ‘Species of tree peony include Paeonia delavayi with crimson cup-shaped flowers, red-tinged new growth and a height of 1.5m / 5ft, and Paeonia suffruticosa or Moutans.’
- ‘The moutan peony should be grown in a bright place, with direct sunlight.’
- ‘But I could not understand why Moutan peonies had survived the predations of Chinese peasants for thousands of years and are only now in real danger of total destruction.’
Early 19th century: from Chinese mudan.
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