Fun facts about Peonies!
Peonies are native to Asia, where they were cultivated for their many useful properties. They were brought to Europe in the early 13th Century, and can still be found growing wild in some places.
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.
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.
Peonies come in every colour but blue. Some of the blooms smell more fragrant than others. Look for lighter-coloured blooms, such as pink, white or yellow, for the most scent, but peonies also come in maroon, red, and even multi-coloured.
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.
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!
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 petals are edible! And not just as a garnish, either. In China, the petals can be boiled into tea or added into a salad. Don’t know if we’d totally recommend this for a mid morning snack though!
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.
Thanks to Chad Kremp for the amazing facts here!
If you’d like to buy Peony Plants then check out Kelways - my favourite UK based Peony grower.