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The peony or paeony is a name for plants in the genus Paeonia, the only genus in the flowering plants family Paeoniaceae. They are native to southern Europe, East Asia and western North America where they grow in grasslands, brushwoods and in valleys between mountains. It is a flowering plant appreciated because of its frost-hardiness, longevity and stamina, its beautiful and lasting leafage, height of the shrub, size and beauty of the flower as well as the diversity of its shapes and colours, its long period of blossoming and durability as a cut flower. They have meaty, tuberous roots called bulblets and large seeds in erect follicles. The Chinese peony (Paeonia lactiflora) featured in the stamp has tripartite leaves with elliptical or lanceolate leaflets usually with sharp ends, dark green on top and light on bottom. The height of the plant is between 80 to 100 cm and the flowers are 8 to 12 cm in diameter, blossoming in June and July. It is the base of two thirds of garden peony varieties and about 10,000 varieties are known.