Symbolic Meaning of Peony


Depending on the variety, peonies can be herbaceous, woody or intersectional (hybrid) perennials. Peonies bloom in late spring or early summer, with large blooms that are typically pink, red, yellow or white. The peony flower has many symbolic meanings, almost all of them positive.


  • Peonies symbolize happiness in marriage.

    The blossoms of peonies are round and generous, so they are often said to represent good fortune in romance and happy marriage. The peony is also the traditional flower of a 12th wedding anniversary.

Compassion and Bashfulness

  • Peonies have been said to hide nymphs between their petals, which is why they symbolize bashfulness or shame. The same generous petals that earn them the symbolic meaning of happy marriage also earn them the symbolic meaning of compassion.


  • Peonies are associated with wealth and nobility.

    Peonies have been esteemed flowers in China for a long time. Because peonies were popular in Sui and Tang dynasty imperial palaces, they are associated with high value, honor and nobility. In fact, the peony is sometimes known as the "king of flowers."

Other Meanings

  • Peonies symbolize female fertility and beauty.

    Because peonies bloom during or directly after spring, they symbolize female fertility and beauty. In their full bloom, peonies have the symbolic meaning of peace. Sometimes peonies symbolize indignation.

Fun Facts

  • The peony is the state flower of Indiana. Some peonies have a fragrance suitable to perfumes, some have no scent at all and others have a scent that is disagreeable.

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