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Generic name for plants in the genus Paeonia, the only genus in the family Paeoniaceae, which is native to Asia, but also found in other parts of the world, including southern Europe. The plants of this genus bear attractive flowers and are named after Paeon (Παιών), a god from Greek mythology, who was turned into such a flower by Zeus, in order to save him from the wrath of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine and healing, after the latter had become jealous of Paeon, his former student, for having gained access to pharmaka (φάρμακα), a medicine that had the capability to heal someone instantly. Since the Qing Dynasty, the Peony –in specific the native variety Paeonia suffruticosa, which is commonly known as the Tree Peony– has been the national flower of China, as well as the city flower of the ancient Chinese capital Luoyang (fig.), nowadays a centre of this flower's cultivation. Also spelled Paeony. The above tale is reminiscent of a Thai drama in verse by King Vajiravudh, named Matanapatha.