In Bloom: Peonies

By Tessa Woolf June 12, 2012

Flower fans, rejoice: It's officially peony season! Like Christmas and our birthdays, this joyous occasion only happens once a year and, sadly, it's over in the blink of an eye. Peonies typically bloom for one week in late spring through early summer, depending on the species and geographic location. But, their short blooming season makes the beautiful stems all the more special in our book.

To quote local florist Kellie Jackstien of Artisan Bloom, "Some people equate popsicles and flip-flops with the first days of summer, but I see big fat peonies."

via Martha Stewart Weddings

Peonies are thought to represent bashfulness, likely due to their mostly pink, blush color, but they are also symbolic of devotion. Their roots stretch back to ancient times: It's said that peonies were named in honor of the Greek god Plato’s personal physician, Paeon, who is said to have cured Plato, god of the underworld, using the flower's seeds. In the 8th century, children wore peony roots to guard against epilepsy and nightmares. Known as “a rose without thorns,” in medieval times Christians associated peonies with the Virgin Mary, hence modesty is another association.

Thinking of including peonies in your wedding flowers? Be inspired by our round-up of gorgeous peony bouquets:


Bouquet by Honey of a Thousand Flowers;

Kate Osborne Photography

 via Martha Stewart Weddings

 Harrison Studio via Brides

KT Merry via Brides

via Martha Stewart Weddings

via Martha Stewart Weddings

Tanja Lippert via Brides

via The Wedding Chicks

via Martha Stewart Weddings

Want to see more peony bouquets and learn more about flowers with special meaning? Check out our "Language of Love" flowers feature in our upcoming summer/fall 2012 issue--on newsstands July 3rd!