A flower common in our gardens, but of great use as well as ornament. The common double piony is not the kind used in medicine; this is called the female piony; the single flowered one called the nude piony, is the right kind. This grows two or three feet high. The stalk is round, striated, and branched: the leaves are of a deep green, and each composed of several others: the flowers are very large, and of a deep purple, with a green head in the middle. When they are decayed, this head swells out into two or more seed vessels, which are whitish and hairy on the outside, and red within, and full of black seeds, the root is composed of a number of longish or reddish lumps, connected by fibres to the main source of the stalk; these are brown on the outside, and whitish within.
The roots are used; an infusion of them promotes the menses. The powder of them dried is good against hysteric and nervous complaints. It is particularly recommended against the falling sickness.