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The first tree pe­onies were cul­ti­vated in China over 1,500 years ago, from wild plants that grew nat­u­rally in moun­tain­ous ar­eas.

They’re hugely sym­bolic in Ja­pan and in China, where they are the na­tional flower. In both coun­tries, they fea­ture in art and crafts.

It is thought that tree pe­onies were brought to Ja­pan from China by Bud­dhist monks.

A 17th cen­tury Chi­nese paint­ing fea­tur­ing a tree pe­ony

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