Of the numerous plants of Greece, few can rival the wild peony in beauty and splendour. The peony has, since antiquity, been praised as «the queen of all herbs» for the incomparable beauty of its large flowers and its healing properties. Its antimicrobial and antiseptic properties have been confirmed by modern studies. It was named Paeonia after the healing god Paeon, who cured Hades from a wound inflicted by an arrow of Herakles and Ares from a wound sustained during the Trojan War. Seven species of peony are found in Greece, of which Paeonia clusii (Crete, Karpathos and Rhodes) and Paeonia parnassica (Mounts Parnassos and Elikonas) are Greek endemics.
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