Morphological characters and geographical distribution are the same as those of the family.
Herbs 20-75[-200+] cm, usually rhizomatous and/or roots notably fleshy or thickened. Leaves (excluding clasping, scalelike structures proximal to leaves proper) mostly 5-12 per shoot. Inflorescences: flowers nodding [erect], sometimes surpassed by foliage or individual flower overtopped by ± leaflike bract. Flowers often fragrant, showy; sepals usually persistent, usually green or purplish; petals dark red to purplish, almost black, or maroon to bronze [pink, red, white, yellow], usually with contrasting margins. Follicles usually ± leathery. Seeds relatively large. x = 5.
|Peony [Greek Paeon, physician to the gods, who supposedly used the plant medicinally]|