A recognizable wild peony is in the flowery foreground of the anonymous late Gothic painting, ‘The Little Garden of Paradise’ where the Virgin Mary and several saints are gathered. The wild European peony, also known as ‘the Rose without a Thorn’, is a floral emblem of the Mother of Jesus.
Martin Schongauer creates one of the first-known naturalistic studies in western art – his peony for his ‘Madonna of the Rose Bower’. Schongauer deeply influences Albrech Durer and the course of Western art.
John Brickell’s ‘Natural History of North Carolina’ notes the European medicinal peony is present, using common names of his era.
In world history: French scientists publish the first study linking tree rings with the weather when the trees were alive
Paeonia peregrina confirmed to be in European gardens from works of art
Thomas Jefferson (American revolutionary, President, and slave-holder) includes the European medicinal peony in his garden plan for Monticello (in Virginia.)
In world history: Captain James Cook returns to England, ending his first voyage around the world
It is 1907 before the double crimson-red peony ‘John Hancock’ is introduced by Hollis. It is one of his now-mostly-missing series of peonies named for battles and heroes of the American Revolution and American Civil War. ‘Standard Bearer’ (Bed 3) is part of this series.
In world history: American Declaration of Independence issued
Abbe Jean Grosier reports on his observations from years of living in China that through their artistry, Chinese gardeners in ancient times had developed tree peonies from herbacious peonies. His confusion is likely based on his familarity with the European herbacous peonies and its ancient medical traditions, and he was unable to understand that the tree peonies were from different species not known to Europeans.
The first living “tree peony” is introduced to Europe (into England) from China. Peony mania ensues after it bloooms in Kew Gardens (then a private royal garden) and a full-color drawing published in 1809.
In world history: French Revolution begins
It is over a century before the UM is relevant to peonies.
In world history: University of Michigan founded with committments made to the Tribes.
Edulis Superba (Bed 4) introduced – it is the oldest peony cultivar in Euro-American culture and likely a renamed Chinese selection that had been recently imported, or a seedling of one. Genomic work as that being conducted here, will unlock the mystery
In world history: Beethoven’s Symphony #9 makes its world premier; the Queen and King of Hawaii both die of measels while visiting the United Kingdom to negotiate issues of soverignty.