The peony in my backyard refused to bloomed. Last year I finally moved it to full sun and my labour has been rewarded with 3 flowers. I've been enjoying watching the ants collecting the sweet nectar that the buds produce; although not necessary for the pollination of the flower, the busy ants are a great reminder to stop smelling the flowers and get back to work.
Peony was named for Paeon, a student of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine and healing. Paeon discovered that the peony could be used to alleviate the suffering of childbirth. Zeus eventually turned Paeon into the flower that bears his name to save him from Asclepius' jealous rage.
Peony root is still used medicinally as a sedative, diuretic, and astringent. The root contains the antioxidant paeoniflorin that may boost the immune system and reduce the effects of stress. It has been shown to ease menstrual cramps, reduce PMS and the effects of menopause. Peony should not be used for a prolonged period and never by a pregnant woman. The plant need to be dug up and separated every 10 years or so. This is a great time to harvest the beneficial roots.