In the floral language, only a handful of blooms carry the weight of symbolism comparable to the peony. Admired across various countries since dateless times, such exquisite blossoms are bound to possess a broad spectrum of meanings. Because of this, the peony's significance continues to captivate hearts and minds even to this day. Join us on a journey from China to Japan and beyond to explore the fascinating meanings of peony flowers.

The Peony Flower: Meaning and Symbolism

Where Did the Peony Come From?

Looking back to ancient Asia, we discover that this flower's origins can be traced back to none other than China. As its captivating beauty quickly won over its residents, its cultivation spread throughout the region, further increasing the type's popularity.

Where Did the Peony Get Its Name?

The term peony finds its origins interlaced with Greek mythology. Legend has it that it was named after Paeon, a student of Asclepius (the god of healing). When Paeon used the root of this flower to cure Pluto, Asclepius, jealous of Paeon's remarkable abilities, sought to kill his student by any means. Protecting Paeon, Pluto turned him into the exquisite blossom known today as the peony.

What Do Peonies Symbolise?

What Do Peonies Symbolise?

Peonies in Chinese Culture

Deeply ingrained in Chinese culture, the peony's meaning has profound positive significance. This flower embodies abundance, affluence, and successful romantic life. Its title, the King of Flowers, reflects its reputation, placing the peony at the heart of numerous art pieces and cultural traditions.

What Do Peonies Symbolise in Japan

Japan is known for holding the peony in high regard, which signifies wealth and honour. Moreover, the flower’s connection to astounding bravery made it a recurring motif in traditional Japanese artwork and kimono designs.

Peonies and Italian traditions

In Italy, peonies are the ultimate symbols of romance and affection. They carry the sense of a passionate and deep connection between individuals and in devoted relationships.

Peony Colour Meanings

As colour brings depth to the flower message, it is essential to find the right palette before arranging a floral gift. Here we’ve gathered some of the most common peony colours and their associated meanings:


White peonies embody purity, innocence, and a sense of new beginnings. Celebrating a loving and prosperous event is almost impossible without these flowers, especially if it’s a wedding or a joyous romantic occasion. 


Soft pink peonies embody sentiments of romance, compassion, and femininity. These gentle blossoms are often used to represent tender affection and bashfulness.


Vibrant red peonies radiate intense passion, inner strength, and profound love. They are commonly presented as manifestations of unwavering devotion and deep admiration for someone special.


Bright yellow peonies elegantly convey happiness, companionship, and good luck. They are an excellent choice to commemorate friendships and extend heartfelt wishes for a radiant and blissful journey ahead.


Majestic purple peonies encapsulate notions of regality, grace, and dignity. They are often offered to express profound appreciation for someone's elegance and appeal.


Lively orange peonies are symbols of vitality, enthusiasm, and boundless creativity. These blooms make splendid gifts for people who embrace life no matter what.

Popular Peony Varieties 

When faced with a wide range of captivating peonies, making an informed decision can be quite a task. Here you can discover some of the most cherished peony varieties to make your choice easier: 

Sarah Bernhardt 

Paying homage to the renowned French actress, Sarah Bernhardt’s peonies showcase lush, gentle-pink blooms with a delightful fragrance.

Coral Charm 

Distinguished by their unique coral hue, Coral Charm specimens will make any garden or floral arrangement vibrant and peachy.


It is an enchanting intersectional peony — Bartzella boasts lemon-yellow petals, easily recognised due to their vivid appearance.

Duchesse De Nemours 

Having an air of sophistication, the classic white peony Duchesse De Nemours presents elegant cup-shaped flowers, a beloved choice for weddings and formal gatherings.

Bowl of Beauty 

A traditionally grown Japanese peony, Bowl of Beauty, has splendid pink petals contrasting the creamy white and raspberry red core. 

How to Care for Your Peonies 

To ensure your peonies bloom, consider following these care guidelines: 

  1. Support the weighty flower heads to prevent them from drooping. 
  2. Regularly replace the water, using non-chlorinated water to fill the vase.
  3. Remove withered petals and buds to prevent premature wilting. 

How to Get Peonies to Open Faster 

Waiting for flowers to bloom is indeed a test of one's patience, but these techniques can help you in this challenging process: 

  1. Trim the stems at an angle and place them in warm water. 
  2. Add a hint of sugar to the water for nourishment. 
  3. Keep the peonies in a warm room, well-lit yet away from direct sunlight. 
  4. Gently waft warm air from a hairdryer over the closed buds. 

Interesting Facts About Peonies 

  1. The peony is regarded as the 'blossom of affluence and distinction.'
  2. In China, it was chosen for a traditional floral emblem and is often gracefully referred to as the 'Mudan.'
  3. As the official state flower of Indiana, USA, it receives tribute during the Indiana Peony Festival.

Throughout its journey, historical and cultural, the peony has acquired countless meanings along the way. Whether you seek to express love or admiration or wish someone a prosperous lifetime, the variety of meanings of peony flowers will always be a brilliant fit for your needs. They continue to amuse us with timeless beauty and enchanting appearance.


What is the myth associated with the peony? 

In Greek mythology, after Paeon healed Pluto with a peony root solution, Asclepius threatened to kill his pupil out of jealousy. To protect Paeon, Pluto decided to transform him into an exquisite peony flower.

Do peonies symbolise healing? 

Yes, peonies are known for their healing qualities, often utilised in traditional Chinese medicine. Because of this, the flower's symbolic connection to health and well-being has been reinforced.

What is the meaning of peonies at a funeral? 

Peonies at a funeral typically symbolise a farewell or a wish for a peaceful afterlife. In some cultures, these varieties are the means of showing condolences and paying tribute to those who have passed away, representing a wish for a serene and graceful departure.

Is the peony a lucky flower? 

Yes. These flowers are lucky in various cultures, especially in China and Japan. Believed to bring financial success and good fortune to those who possess or receive them, such varieties can be easily found in homes.

What does a bouquet of peonies mean? 

A bouquet of peonies typically conveys love, admiration, and compassion, making it a staple for special events and heartfelt gestures.

What is the rarest peony colour? 

The rarest peony colour is blue. These flowers do not exist naturally and are created through artificial pigmentation.

What does the peony mean at a wedding? 

At a wedding, these flowers symbolise a blissful and loving union and a happy future together. This is why wedding bouquets and decor involve peony flowers.

Are peonies male or female? 

Peonies are bisexual, and they have both male and female reproductive organs. This characteristic allows them to self-pollinate, but they can also cross-pollinate with other peonies.

What does a peony tattoo symbolise? 

Such a tattoo can carry various meanings, such as beauty, femininity, love, or happiness. The choice of colour and design can further add specific connotations.

Why is the peony the king of flowers? 

Its regal appearance, large and lush blooms, and the deep cultural significance it holds in Chinese culture are the main reasons behind this name. 

What does the name peony mean in Greek? 

In Greek, this name is translated as "someone who gives praise", such as a person who never ceases to be grateful for all the good things they possess.

Do peonies attract love? 

Peonies are indeed believed to attract romance. Their alluring beauty and sweet fragrance make for an incredible gift, bound to bring love into someone’s life.

What does the tree peony symbolise? 

Tree peonies symbolise longevity, wealth, and luck. As tokens of nobility and elegance, these peonies adorn gardens and landscapes with their enchanting blooms.

What does the peony represent in Feng Shui? 

The peony is believed to accumulate positive energy, luck, and harmony for the home in Feng Shui.

Is a peony a birth flower? 

Yes, as one of the birth flowers for April, it describes individuals born in this month.