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Peony of Rhodes

If someone makes a walk in the forests of Rhodes, to the mountain of Prophet Elias or Agios Nectarios, he will meet a beautiful and spectacular wildflower. It is called peony and specifically “Peony of Rhodes.”

It is an endemic plant that grows in shady forests consists of pines and angiosperms and belongs to the peony plants.

The flower has 5 petals, surrounded by many yellow stamens and its leaves are branching as it gets higher (40 -60 cm). Even it has become more unique because of the cinnamon smell which attracts many insects.

In the local Rhodian dialect, it is called “Pigounia” and adorns the island of Rhodes during the months of February to April. This kind of peony is characterized as endangered species of flora.

This plant took its name from Peony, a pupil of Asclepius, the doctor of Gods. The legend Peony cured Pluto from a fatal wound and then Asclepius killed him out of envy. Then Pluto, transformed him into a flower and that’s how it got its name.

Since antiquity it is said that peony has medicinal use. It was considered as an antidote to fevers and intoxications. It is emmenagogue, suitable for the infections of kidneys, intestines, colic, bites of snakes and, moreover, turns away nightmares. Today, according to the medicine, the peony is considered to have analgesic and sedative properties.

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