Himalayan Peony
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Himalayan Peony
ative Photo: Gurcharan Singh
Common name: Himalayan Peony • Hindi: Chandayra, चन्द्रा Chandra, चन्द्रैन Chandrain, Ud-salap, Udsalap • Sanskrit: chandra • Urdu: ood salib, Ood salib nim kofta
Botanical name: Paeonia emodi    Family: Paeoniaceae (Peony family)

Himalayan Peony is a robust shrubby perennial, 30-75 cm tall, characterised by large white flowers with numerous orange-yellow stamne and large deeply cut leaves. Flowers are 8-12 cm across, with 5-10 elliptic petals and 5 persistent outer sepals. Leaves are compound, 1-2 ft long, with lanceshaped long-pointed leaflets or lobes up to 14 cm long. Fruit is 3-4 cm, densely hairy or hairless, with seeds which are scarlet and then brown-black. Himalayan Peony is found in the Himalayas, from Afghanistan to W. Nepal, at altitudes of 1800-2500 m. Flowering: April-May.
Medicinal uses: The tubers of Himalayan Peony are a useful medicine for the treatment of hysteria, convulsions, colic, uterine diseases and obstructions of the bile duct. They are given to children as a blood purifier. The seeds are cathartic and emetic. An infusion of the dried flowers is useful in the treatment of diarrhoea. A tea made from the dried crushed petals of various peony species has been used as a cough remedy, and as a treatment for haemorrhoids and varicose veins.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh
Photographed between Aishmuqam and Pahalgam, Kashmir.
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