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Paeonia (peony; family Ranunculaceae) A genus of tall herbs or shrubs that have large, terminal, usually solitary flowers with 5 sepals, 5–13 large free petals, many stamens, and 2–5 free carpels with fleshy walls, mounted on a fleshy disc. The fruit is a group of follicles containing several seeds. The ovules have peculiar outer integuments and the basic chromosome number is 5, features not seen in other genera of the family. There are 33 species, occurring in Eurasia and in western N. America.