Everyone is touched by the charm of a peony. This elegant country flower is gorgeous in rustic bouquets, but is also irresistible as a solo flower.
Does it heal you or give you poor luck?
The Peony and its meanings.
In one tale, the flower gets its name from the Greek physician Paeon. Paeon was the physician to the gods who angered his teacher Asclepius. He had used a liquid from the root of a Peony to cure the God of the Underworld, Pluto. Asclepius threatened to kill Paeon out of jealousy because he was outsmarting his teacher. Zeus saved him by turning him into a beautiful flower, the peony.
Another tale says something completely different. In this tale the name of the flower comes from a nymph named Paeonia whose beauty attracted the attention of Apollo. Out of spite, Aphrodite turned her into a peony.
The Peony family
The flower is a member of the Paeoniaceae family. ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ is the best-known peony traded as a cut flower, but there are many other beautiful varieties, from ‘simple’ single-flowered to double-flowered peonies.
They have many types of scent, but there is no one typical fragrance. Some peonies smell like roses, others have a honey-sweet or even a lemony scent.
Traditionally the flower has been common in country gardens. When spring turns to summer, they explode lavishly with sumptuous flowers.
The first peonies come onto the market in May. The season runs until the end of June.
When buying, pay attention to the flower buds: they must feel soft and show colour. You might want to dampen the buds from time to time with a plant spray in order to encourage flowering.
Always trim off some of the stem and place the flowers in clean water with cut flower food. Also, advise your customers to use cut flower food, to replace the vase water twice a week and to trim off some of the stem.
Enjoy them as best as you can, this great seasonal flower!