The Peony Flower Meanings and Symbolism

The peony is a flower known for its beautiful blooms and sweet scent. But it represents more than just beauty. Different cultures have given peonies important meanings for hundreds of years.

Behind its petals lie symbols of love, wealth, and kindness. Legend says the peony tells tales of shyness and caring. Each colour also carries its own special message.

In this article, we'll learn what peonies have represented over time. We'll uncover the stories and importance people found in these ancient flowers.

Peony Meanings and Symbolism by Color

Colour Meaning & Symbolism
White Shyness, innocence, forgiveness
Pink Good luck, prosperity, romance
Red Love, passion, respect, honour
Coral Elegance, fortune, success, happiness
Purple Royalty, dignity, admiration
 Yellow Happiness, new beginnings, friendship


White Peony Flower Meaning And Symbolism

White peonies showcase a gentle beauty. Their creamy petals evoke feelings of delicacy and purity. Ancient tales tell us these peonies symbolize more as well.

In Greek myth, a nymph named Paeonia faced the gods' anger. Paeonia had stirred jealousy amongst them. As punishment, she was changed into a white peony. From that day on, the white blooms came to symbolize apology and regret.

Their soft white colour conveyed shy innocence. People saw them as signs of forgiveness, too. If someone wanted to show they felt sorry or seek pardon, white peonies made a thoughtful gift.

Light Pink Peony Flower Meaning And Symbolism


A favoured peony colour is light pink. These blooms have long stood for romance, fortune, and wealth. At weddings, light pink peonies bring wishes of everlasting love and luck to the newly married couple.

With their soft blush tones, light pink peonies also make thoughtful gifts. On Mother's Day, they show care and appreciation for mom. Given to a loved one, their rosy colour speaks sweetly of affection and tender moments shared.

Hot Pink Peony Flower Meaning And Symbolism

Bold and passionate, hot pink peonies exude drama and allure. These vivid blooms symbolize attraction, appreciation, and intense romance. Their youthful energy makes them a delightful addition to celebrations like sweet sixteens or graduation bouquets, radiating joy and radiance.

Red Peony Flower Meaning And Symbolism

Rich and luxurious, red peonies are the epitome of love and desire. In ancient China, red peonies were reserved for royalty, representing respect, honour, and abundance. Today, these sultry blooms are the perfect alternative to red roses, expressing deep affection and appreciation for a loved one.

Coral Peony Flower Meaning And Symbolism

Unique and captivating, coral peonies represent elegance, good fortune, and strong relationships. Their colour-changing petals, which transition from deep coral to peach and cream hues, symbolize happiness and abundance. These versatile blooms are ideal for occasions celebrating success, joy, or new beginnings.

Purple Peony Flower Meaning And Symbolism

Purple peonies carry an air of dignity and prestige. Their royal hue evokes nobility and high regard. One can almost picture these blooms adorning a king's garden long ago.

Even today, their stately colour reminds us of luxury and strength - attributes often connected to royalty. Purple peonies make a striking choice whenever a sense of grandeur or depth of respect is called for.

Yellow Peony Flower Meaning And Symbolism

Yellow peonies carry a joyous, lively energy. Their sunny colour is a symbol of happiness, warmth, and good company between friends.
People thought yellow peonies would bring good fortune to new starts or times to celebrate success. Their bold, cheery hue seemed to enhance positivity.

Some saw yellow peonies as representing fresh starts, wealth, and high spirits. Simply looking upon them or giving their bright blooms as a gift aimed to encourage optimism and strength.

Peony Meaning and Symbolism


For millennia, peonies have been cherished, dating back over 4,000 years to ancient China and Greece.

In China, they were called "kings of flowers", portraying status, integrity, and abundance. Only royalty grew peonies in their gardens.
The Japanese similarly revere peonies as signs of courage, prosperity, and dignity.

Significance In Different Cultures

While peonies take on diverse meanings across places, they are universally celebrated for their beauty and rich symbolism. Let's explore some of their significance in history.

  • Greek Mythology: In ancient Greece, myths told of nymphs transformed into peonies as punishment or out of compassion. This led peonies to represent shyness and healing.
  • Chinese Culture: In Chinese culture, peonies have long indicated wealth, status, and good fortune. Only royalty grew them, and they feature prominently in festivals today for continued luck.
  • Japanese Culture: Japan views peonies as the "king of flowers" - symbols of bravery, honour, and prosperity. You see them often in traditional art, showing their importance.
  • Victorian Era: During Victorian times, peonies emerged as flowers for romance, luck, and bashfulness. People enjoyed exchanging them in bouquets to convey good wishes and feelings of affection.

Peony Flower Meaning in Love and Relationships

Peonies often speak lovingly between partners. Their gorgeous blooms and sweet scent make them a perfect way to show affection.

  • Red Peonies: Red peonies mirror the passion of red roses, conveying intense feelings and eternal devotion.
  • Pink Peonies: Soft pink peonies speak gently of admiration, caring, and appreciation within a relationship. Their tender warmth is lovely to give or receive.
  • White Peonies: While white peonies can mean innocence, they also symbolize fresh starts. How wonderful to gift them to a couple embarking on a new chapter as a symbol of renewed commitment.
  • Peony Bouquets: Peony bouquets remain a timeless gesture of romance. On special days like anniversaries and Valentine's Day, or just because, a bouquet ensures your beloved feels loved, lucky, and grateful.

Peony Flower Meaning in Spirituality and Feng Shui

Peonies carry significance beyond romance. Their energy influences spirituality and feng shui as well.

  • Spiritual Symbolism: Many cultures see peonies as representing concepts like compassion, renewal, and the unfurling of one's spiritual journey. Their blooms encourage growth in understanding ourselves.
  • Feng Shui: In Chinese feng shui, peonies are thought to attract positive energy, love, and romance into the home. Placing peony images or blooms strategically, like in the living or bedroom, aims to nurture relationships and fulfilment.
  • Dream Symbolism: Dreaming of peonies, in interpretation, connects to prosperity, good fortune, and fresh starts. The dream hints at blossoming opportunities or an auspicious new phase in life taking root.

Popular Peony Varieties

With over 6,000 types, peonies offer vast diversity. Some beloved varieties include:

  • Sarah Bernhardt: Sarah Bernhardt astounds with its full, pale pink blooms emanating a heavenly perfume. A Chinese peony classic for bouquets.
  • Coral Charm: Coral Charm boasts petals that shift colour beautifully - from deep coral to peach, yellow, and cream. Nature's living artwork.
  • Bartzella (Itoh Peony): Bartzella, a fusion of tree and herbaceous peonies, dazzles with gigantic yellow blooms surrounded in scarlet and a fresh citrus scent.
  • Duchesse de Nemours: Duchesse de Nemours charms with its pristine frilly white petals exuding a lush garden rose essence.
  • Bowl of Beauty: Bowl of Beauty, in anemone shape, contrasts deep pink outer petals with creamy yellow or white inner, captivating the eyes and nose with its bicolour beauty and fragrance.

Fascinating Peony Facts

  • Ancient Beauties: Peonies have graced gardens for over 4,000 years, tracing back to 1000 BC China. Their lifespan can top 100 years with TLC - putting most flowers to shame!
  • Dramatic Displays: Watching peonies open is a show - tiny buds unfurl 3x larger into lush blooms. Their ephemeral beauty lingers long in memory.
  • Anniversary Symbol: Peonies make the traditional 12th-anniversary gift, perfectly suiting couples' devoted love through the years.
  • Ants at the Party: Peony nectar draws ants inside for the sweetest party, providing helpful hand-opening velvety petals, too.
  • Edible Elegance: Their delicate blooms add floral flavour and beauty when used to garnish foods like salads or desserts.
  • Superstitious Views: Some say moving or digging peonies courts ill fate. No bloom? Bad luck may loom. But their charm persists through the seasons.
  • City of Flowers: Luoyang in China hosts peonies' fame, from gardens to its joyous annual festival celebrating the iconic bloom.
  • Medicinal Magic: Historically, peony roots, seeds, and petals offered relief - from headaches to childbirth pains. Their healing legacy endures.

Final Words

Truly, peonies are extraordinary flowers. For centuries across cultures, they've captivated through versatile beauty and meaningful symbolism.
From Greek myths and imperial Chinese gardens of long ago to today's associations with love, wealth and good fortune - peonies still captivate. Whether crimson to express passion, regal purple for nobility, or innocent white for new starts, each variety speaks its own language eloquently.

Whether in bouquets for beloved ones, elegant arrangements, or simply as nature's artwork, appreciating peonies invites their magic. Their profound yet uplifting messages linked to life's most treasured things strengthen over generations.

Through the peony's timeless yet evolving language of love, luck and life's milestones, its magnificence weaves joy and memory. Let its blessings of prosperity, health and romance enrich your own journey in your own way, for the peony's revered life lessons are as enduring as its breathtaking blooms.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the symbolic meaning of peony flowers?
Peonies have diverse meanings related to love, luck, honour and more. Specific meanings depend on colour and culture, like pink, which means romance in some places.

What do pink peonies symbolize?
Light pink peonies symbolise romance, fortune and well-wishes, especially for weddings. Dark pink conveys passion, caring and appreciation.

What is the meaning of a red peony?
In many traditions, crimson peonies represent true love, intense emotion and high regard. They connect to nobility, too.

What do white peonies symbolize?
White peonies suggest innocence and bashfulness. They also mean asking forgiveness or starting anew, making them fit for apologies or fresh starts.