The Symbolism of a Peony


Peonies are perennial flowers symbolizing beauty and romance and peace. The flowers are also believed to have healing powers. The peony is pleasing to the eye and full of symbolism.

The Peony

  • Peonies bloom in white, cream, pink, rose and deep red. Rarely, they may also bloom yellow. There is also a peony shrub that can grow between 3 and 4 feet in height.

Greek Mythology

  • In Greek mythology, Paeon, physician to the gods, received the flower on Mount Olympus from Apollo’s mother, Leto. His mentor became quite jealous of his healing abilities, but Paeon escaped dying by being turned into a peony by Zeus. The peony therefore is believed to have healing qualities.


  • For many, men and women alike, the peony is a popular tattoo choice, believed to keep evil spirits away.

Chinese & Japanese Meanings

  • The peony symbolizes nobility and value, good fortune and wealth. The peony is part of an old Japanese card game played by tattooed gamblers and therefore also alludes to a gambling daring and even a masculine devil-may-care attitude. It has also come to symbolize female beauty and reproduction. In addition, when shown in full bloom, the peony symbolizes peace.

Other Meanings

  • The peony also symbolized bashfulness. In Victorian times it was believed that mischievous nymphs hid in its magnificent petals. Symbolizing beauty and romance, the peony is often chosen for weddings.

Interesting facts

  • The peony is the traditional floral symbol of China. It is the state flower of Indiana. The peony is the 12th wedding anniversary flower.

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