Paeonia mas Plinius

1st century BC 'Naturalis Historiae'

type: [herbaceous peony] – [species] – [synonym]

accepted name (2004):

Paeonia mascula Miller


Pliny's record on Peonies


Vetustissima inventu Paeonia est nomenque auctoris retinet, quam quidam pentorobon appellant, alii glycysiden. nam haec quoque difficultas est, quod eadem aliter alibi nuncupatur. nascitur opacis montibus, caule inter folia digitorum IIII, ferente in cacumine veluti Graecas nuces IIII aut V. inest his semen copiosum, rubrum nigrumque. haec medetur et Faunorum in quiete ludibriis. praecipiunt eruere noctu, quoniam, si picus Martius videat, tuendo in oculos impetum faciat.


X. The first plant to be discoveres was the peony, which still retains the name of the discoverer; it is called by some pentorobon. by others glycyside. for an added difficulty in botany is the variety of names given to the same plant in different districts. It grows on shaded mountains, having a stem among the leaves about four fongers high, which bears on its top four or five growths like almonds, in them being a large amount of seed. red and black. This plant also prevents the mocking delusions that the Fauns bring on us in our sleep. They recommend us to uproot it at night-time, because the woodpecker of Mars, should be see the act. will attack the eves in its defence.


Reference of Huth


5. P. corallina Retz., obs. 111. 34 (1783) ...Synonyma: (...) Diosc.; P. mas Plinius, Matthiol., Lobel, Dodon.;...

Carsten Burkhardt's Web Project Paeonia - The Peony Database


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