My Life in Blossom

Peonies: Meaning and Symbolism

Peonies: Meaning and Symbolism

No spring garden would be complete without a peony plant growing in it, filling the air with fragrance. Its delicate appearance, easy-to-care nature,  and intoxicating fragrance make it a coveted flower for bridal bouquets and wedding decor for couples getting married in the spring. The long stems of the peony blooms make them an ideal flower to use in table centerpieces for spring get-togethers.

These spring flowers hold deep meanings and symbolism and thanks to greenhouses, we can use peonies year-round to convey messages. The giving or receiving of the peony flower is sending a clear message, read on to discover what they mean and symbolize.


* Freshly opened peony blooms mean good luck. They are an ideal flower to give to someone embarking on a new adventure in life.

* It’s said that when the blooms dry up, bad luck is soon to follow.

* Giving someone an odd number of peony flowers is considered bad luck.

* An even number of blooms mean good luck.

Color Meanings

* Pink peonies mean love at first sight. Great to give to a new love interest.

* Pale pink means romance, luck, and prosperity. These are typically used in weddings to convey the meaning of a long and prosperous union for the couple.

* Hot pink means attraction, allure, romance, and deep appreciation. The bold color can also convey happiness, joy, and radiance.

* White peonies mean you are sorry and are given along with an apology.

* White blooms also mean shame and regret.

* White with a pink blush of color means embarassment and shyness.

* Red blooms are the color of passion, fury, intensity, and drama. The red blooms can be given to mean you are intensely passionate about your love for the recipient. However, the red bloom color can also indicate you are furious and a dramatic episode is in the near future.

* Yellow peonies mean new beginnings, fresh starts, and clean slates. Ideal for giving to someone who has just graduated from school, started a new job, or purchased a new home.

* The yellow blooms are often used as indoor decor after a deep spring cleaning to indicate a bright and clean living space.


* The delicate peony symbolizes prosperity, good fortune, honor, compassion, and happiness. It’s  used in weddings to encourage a happy marriage.

* The fragrant flower is the official flower that represents the twelfth year of marriage and is often given for a twelfth wedding anniversary to symbolize honor, happiness, and fortune.

* Pink blooms symbolize the beauty of marriage and are often used in floral bouquets at weddings.

* White blooms symbolize enduring and everlasting beauty.

Medicinal Uses

The name peony is derived from the  Latin word peonia, which is a form of the Greek word paonia, which is the name of the physician of the gods. This gives a little insight into the plant’s healing qualities, as the peony’s roots, seeds, and flowers were frequently used in medicine.

The root of the plant is used to make tea, tinctures, and ointments to treat a wide range of ailments including gout, osteoarthritis, fever, respiratory tract illnesses, cough, liver cirrhosis, upset stomach, muscle cramps, and to cause vomiting.

Petals from the peony flowers are placed on the skin to heal dry, cracked skin, and to soothe irritated skin.


One ancient legend tells that the peony is named after a nymph named Paeonia. She attracted the attention of Apollo and he began to flirt with her. Her delight turned to embarrassment as she realizes that Aphrodite is watching. Aphrodite turns the nymph into a bright-red peony as a symbol of the shame and embarrassment Paeonia experienced.

An Interview with Harry Simpson