Top 10 Reasonsto Love Peonies
You can’t escape the simple fact that almost everyone loves peonies. Is it because they look just so darned romantic? Maybe it’s because we’re all a sucker for a flower that we can only get our hands on for a very small window of time? Or is it simply down to the fact that they are so blooming gorgeous?
What we do know, come summer time, everyone wants some peonies in their bouquet. We explore the top 10 reasons why everyone loves having a peony in their vase.
1. It is the King of the Flowers
Believe us when we say that we didn’t give this flower its nickname – honest. Head back to Ancient China during the time of the Imperial Dynasty. Flowers have played an important role in Chinese culture for centuries, but the peony was given the crown as the ‘King of the Flowers’. The stunning bloom was seen as a highly valuable symbol of wealth and prosperity and was used to decorate emperors’ palaces. In fact, peonies were so special it was said you could only embroider their image on the clothing of Imperial family members.
2. They’re not just a pretty face
This flower isn’t just all about the looks, it’s also pretty helpful. The peony flower and root has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a whole host of ailments including convulsions, excessive sweating, problems with the blood, chest pains and even headaches. Amazing!
It now won’t surprise you that this flower earned its name from its links to medicine. The story goes that in Greek Mythology, Paeon, a physician to the Gods, extracted a milk liquid from the peony root and used it to cure Pluto. Unfortunately Paeon’s teacher Asclepius, the god of healing, got incredibly jealous of his ability and planned to kill him. When Zeus heard of his plan, he saved Paeon by turning him into….yep, you’ve guessed it, a peony.
3. They’re magical
When you first get your peony, you may feel a little disappointed. The flower starts life as a very tight bud which then slowly opens into a magnificent ball of fluff.
They really are worth the wait. Keep your eyes on the vase and you’ll see your amazing peonies delivering something new and special every day. In fact, peonies can open up to three times their original size – it really is a flower that keeps on giving!
4. They don’t hang about
The peony flowering season is pretty short – they’re here for a good time, not a long time. In fact, these blooms only appear between April and June, with most varieties at their peak during May. Once you pick them, the flowers will only last for about five days in the vase. Maybe that’s why this flower is just so popular - we all want what we can’t have.
Don’t worry, if you’ve missed the season. You can use dried peonies instead – they look pretty fantastic. It’s worth giving it a go because the flowers are incredibly easy to dry plus you get to enjoy the blooms all year round.
5. They’re popular
We can prove it too. Head over to Instagram and these blooms are the fourth most popular named flower hashtag on the site. As you would expect, the ever-popular rose tops the polls with a very large margin of up to 80 million hashtags. Peonies were fourth on the list with a slightly more modest but very respectable 7.7 million hashtags. Not bad for a flower that’s only around for a couple of months.
6. Did we mention that they’re popular?
It’s not just us lot who love these flowers, ants are pretty crazy about them as well. You see, the peony flowers have this neat trick to produce nectar on the outside of the flower buds which ants find irresistible (we did say they were magical). The ants don’t damage the flowers but they will they stop any other harmful insects from attacking the plant.
Bees also go mad for the gorgeous scent of this flower. Just make sure you get the single flowered version otherwise they’ll tire themselves out trying to get to the pollen.
7. There are millions of reasons to send a peony
Ok, so maybe not a million, but there are definitely plenty of great reasons to send one of these flowers. The Chinese word for peony is Sho Yu which means ‘most beautiful’. Maybe it’s time to tell someone beautiful just what you think of them with a bunch of these flowers.
8. They’re the No.1 guest at weddings
Not surprising when you consider all the different meanings behind a peony. There’s going to be a lot of messages packed into one bridal bouquet – good luck, love, happy marriage and beauty. Add in the fact that in China and Japan, the flower stands for wealth, honour and fortune and you’ve got the perfect sentiments.
It doesn’t stop at the wedding day either – peony are also the flower to give for a 12th wedding anniversary.
9. A relationship that lasts
These amazing plants can live for up to 100 years. That means in the garden, this plant stays with you for a lifetime – there aren’t many that can do that. With staying power such as this, it’s not surprising this plant has been around for such a long time. The first records of this plant are from Ancient China someone around 1000 BC. That’s over 3,000 years ago!
10. Spoil yourself
With up to an amazing 40 different species and thousands of cultivars and hybrids, you really can take your pick with peonies. The most commonly chosen peonies are in white or pink - where you can choose from a whole spectrum of tones. However, it is possible to get varieties in shades of yellow, purple, red and orange.
One amazing peony is the colour-changing Coral Charm which starts off as a bowl of salmon-pink petals which over a few days turn to orange before finally settling on a soft yellow. We did say this flower is magical!
Whether it’s a new love or a long-lasting love of peonies, send a peony bouquet and brighten someone’s day.