The Symbolism of Peonies

Peony - Chinese Painting

Peony - Chinese Painting

Peonies is the elegant, dignified flower in China , known as “Grande Corniche ” , usually aromatic flowers, varying from white to yellow or red, in late spring and early summer. Previously, peonies were usually categorized in the family Ranunculaceae, together with Anemones and Hellebores. Peonies have distinctively glossy and lacy leaves, but it is the peony flower that has captured the hearts of gardeners and flower enthusiasts.

The history of the peony flower goes back all the way to thousands of years. So it’s not unexpected that even the mythology associated with the origin of the plant has various adaptations. A particular legend tells of a story of a physician to the gods who was given the peony flower on Mount Olympus by the mother of Apollo. In the legend, the physician’s name is Paeon, which is where the term “peony” was supposedly derived from. Another adaptation of this same legend describes the physician who was rescued from the doom of death as other mortals by being made into a flower, which we now refer to as the peony flower.

The peony flower has been referred to as several things in previous decades and centuries. In fact it has become the traditional floral symbol of China, the state flower of Indiana and the traditional 12th wedding anniversary flower. It has been widely attached to the meaning of wealth and honor. With their luxuriant, generous and rounded bloom, peonies symbolize success and romance, and are also considered a sign of happy marriage and good fortune.

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