Fun Peony Facts Every Flower Enthusiast Should Know March 14, 2018 07:57

Los Angeles FloristDid you know that peonies are the state flower of Indiana? This is one of many interesting facts about peonies. Peonies are an important part of many cultures and gardens. What's more, they are incredibly beautiful and versatile, with feathery petals and large blossoms. People everywhere have fallen in love with this garden bloom, for good reason.

If you are a peony enthusiast, read on to learn more peony facts, so you know what to include when you choose your next special flower arrangement.

1. Peonies Are Culturally Significant in China

The peony is central in Chinese culture. It was actually once the national flower because it is native to this country.

Now it is one of several floral symbols of China. It's visible in a lot of art, architecture, and other design. Throughout Chinese history, the peony appears in poetry, literature, songs, and medicinal texts.

In the Chinese language, the peony's name means beauty, honor, riches, and royalty. Culturally it is also symbolic of wealth and nobility. This is because peonies decorated imperial gardens as early as the Tang Dynasty.

Today, peonies always make a special appearance in the infamous Jingshan Park in Beijing during an annual flower festival. Visitors can glimpse hundreds of varieties of gorgeous peony blooms and learn about the different kinds.

Peonies grow all across China, and compete with the plum blossom for the country's affection. Tourists will also want to visit Luoyang, a Chinese city that is home to the National Peony Garden.

2. This Lovely Bloom is Deeply Symbolic

When it comes to peony facts, this is one of the most central. Peonies have acquired their own symbolism around the world, and not just in specific countries and cultures.

In general, the bloom symbolizes romance, marriage, honor, and compassion. It is officially the flower used to celebrate a twelfth wedding anniversary. This is understandable, given the peony's delicate and blushing appearance. Its petals are soft and numerous, and a common shade of peonies is pink or white.

But the symbolism of peonies goes way back in history. There are a few myths surrounding the origin of the peony blossom.

One is a Greek myth, involving the Greek god Paeon who was a talented divine physician. Paeon was transformed into a peony by another god in order to save his life. This myth speaks to the medicinal properties of peonies and its symbolism of kindness and graciousness.

In another myth, the nymph Paeonia is transformed into a peony as punishment for being too shy to acknowledge romantic attention.

3. Peonies Have Medicinal Properties

Historically, people revered peonies for their medicinal properties. Herbalists and physicians used peony roots, seeds, and blossoms in tinctures, teas, and powders to cure anything from epilepsy to menstrual cramps.

People also thought peonies warded away evil spirits or disease. They often wore peonies in the form of protective jewelry and amulets.

Today, you can still use the peony flower for medicinal purposes. It can treat a variety of illnesses, including the common cough, respiratory issues, gout, muscle spasms, and epilepsy. Peonies may even help improve liver health, ease childbirth, and lower cholesterol levels.

Women may benefit from peony use for menstrual cramps, treatment of PMS side effects, and other menstrual help. Typically herbal supplements come from the root of the peony and are available in pill form, although teas are also an option.

4. Choose From Most Any Color and Variety

People love peonies for a reason--they simply exist in nearly every color and form imagined. When it comes to peony facts, this one is essential.

It's a key reason why peonies continue to appear in wedding arrangements, gifts, and other bouquets.

There are over 3,000 varieties of peonies! Of these varieties, you can find blooms in all shades of pink, red, white, yellow, and beyond. The only color you can't find peonies in is blue.

5. Peonies Love Nutrients

Healthy peony blossoms are a result of a steady diet of potassium, a nutrient that helps with stem growth and blossom sturdiness. They also appreciate fertilizers and soils rich in nitrogen and phosphorous.

Plant experts even recommend mixing bone meal into your peony's fertilizer to ensure it gets the right nutrients. Peonies grow best when planted in the spring and fed a consistent diet throughout their lifetime.

6. Peonies Enjoy Long Lives

This is one of the most fascinating peony facts available. Your favorite bloom, if treated carefully, won't just last a season. Some peony plants live for over 100 years!

Peonies will, of course, live longer if they are introduced in the right climate and given the best nutrients. They are perennial plants that can come back season after season.

These plants can grow blossoms up to 10 inches in diameter and can grow to over 10 feet tall if in the shrub variety.

7. You Can Eat Peony Blossoms

We've already discussed in this list of peony facts the medicinal properties of the peony root. Yet peony blossoms themselves are also edible.

You can add peony petals to a salad as a garnish. Peony enthusiasts can also sweeten peony petals and consume these as a special dessert dish, as is common in China.

8. Ants Help Peonies Live

The peony flower is incredibly sturdy and self-sufficient, and can self-pollinate in order to continue growing. It achieves a long life with the help of ants.

Ants love peony flowers. They are attracted to the blossoms and, as a result, protect the peony plant from harmful insects and other pests.

Peony Facts for Flower Enthusiasts

The peony blossom is exquisitely beautiful. There is a reason why it's become such a fixture in cultures and histories around the globe.

When it comes to interesting peony facts, it's important to know the peony's importance as a floral symbol of China. Throughout history, the peony has come to symbolize romance, longlasting relationships, compassion, and opulence.

It also has extensive medicinal properties. Home growers of peonies will appreciate the fact that peonies are hardy creatures that can live at least a century when treated well.

Want to bring some peony blooms to your doorstep? Browse our SoCal Petals selections today. Or sign up for a wedding consultation so that your floral arrangements include the most beautiful blossoms!