Flower-pedia: 10 Peony Facts That Will Surprise You

peony facts

Ever since the explorer Marco Polo referred to the magnificent peonies as, “Roses as large as cabbages,” Westerners have been fascinated with the beautiful and fragrant flower. Peonies are used in weddings and as a colorful accent to many floral arrangements. People have written about them and their uses for thousands of years, so it’s no surprise to know that there are a lot of interesting peony facts about these gorgeous blooms.

Whether you plan on planting some in your garden, taking a picture or painting of them, or simply learning something new about them, here are 10 peony facts, just for you!

  1. Peonies are native to Asia, where they were cultivated for their many useful properties. They were brought to Europe in 1200 CE, and can still be found growing wild in some places.

  1. Peonies are the floral symbol of China and are displayed often in arrangements representing the country. This flower symbolizes riches and honour in Chinese culture and is frequently seen in Chinese art.

  1. Peonies are the traditional 12th wedding anniversary flower. Besides linen and silk, celebrate your 12th wedding anniversary with a peony bush to grow in the yard. This can commemorate the years you have ahead of you.

  1. Peonies come in every color but blue. Some of the blooms smell more fragrant than others. Look for lighter-colored blooms, such as pink, white or yellow, for the most scent, but peonies also come in maroon, red, and even multi-colored.

    peony facts

  1. Peonies are associated with good luck and good fortune. This is why they are used in many wedding bouquets, and also in pictures and other good-luck shrines.

  1. Peonies are the state flower of Indiana. That’s perfect, because they thrive in the Midwest climate. The state failed to choose a color for their state flower, though, so any peony goes!

  1. Peonies bloom in late spring or early summer in climates with cold winters. The best time to plant is in the fall, before the winter frost hardens the ground. The blooms can be as big as 10” in diameter, and the plant can grow to almost 10 feet in height!

  1. Peonies have a lot of medicinal uses. They have been used to treat maladies such as headaches and asthma, as well as to help mothers giving birth. A surprising peony fact is that there are ancient writings which discuss the medicinal uses of peonies and recipes that include them!

    peony facts

  1. Peony petals are edible! And not just as a garnish, either. In China, the petals can be boiled into tea or added into a salad.

  1. Peonies have been known to attract ants. While that sounds like a nuisance, the ants actually help the peonies pollinate and produce nectar. That doesn’t mean you need ants for a successful peony garden. Peonies will bloom without them, so you can plant ant-repelling insects around them and your peonies will be fine.

Learning these peony facts can help you perfect your garden and find great uses for your blooming peonies. Whether you choose to use them in a bouquet, decorate with them, or even just have pictures and sculptures of them in your house, peonies are a flower that can add beauty and joy to your day!

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