Pretty, fluffy, fragrant and a must have. That’s how I would describe one of the most beautiful flowers available. The humble little peony has come a long way to become one of Australia’s most sort after flowers.
A history that goes back to ancient Asia
Peonies have a long history in Asia initially used for traditional and contemporary medicinal purposes. Peonies have been the subject for many artists throughout Asia with each country and culture having its own distinctive contribution to the overall story of Peonies. Festivals are held each year in China to celebrate the blooming of these beautiful flowers. The Chinese name for Peony is sho yu which means ‘most beautiful’.
Availability and Seasons
In Australia, we are lucky to have dedicated growers supplying the market with stunning Peonies for a solid 6 weeks of the year. Withweather circumstances sometimes a little hard to call, the availability of Peonies can change rapidly. Debbie from Copper Beech says “Maybe this is what makes them so appealing, some weeks the flower market is full of Peonies and then some weeks not a bucket in sight” “Is this why we love them so much?”
It’s hard to say, but Australia’s love and in particular Australian Brides love for Peonies, is giving Roses a run for its money. We meet with many Brides and talk about desirable wedding flowers and Peonies are requested time and time again. Luckily at particular times of the year we have access to imported varieties from Holland for our Brides.
There are two distinct groups of Peonies : the herbaceous and the tree. They are native to Asia, Southern Europe and Western North America. The Peony represents wealth and honour and is regarded as the omen of good fortune and a happy marriage, understandably, this is why they are the flower for the 12th Wedding Anniversary.
The white Peony is one of the oldest remedies in traditional Chinese medicine. Pennyroot is the part valued in Chinese medicine to treat conditions such as convulsions.
You can expect to pay between $20 and $50 for a bunch of Peonies, depending on the season. Choose them when they are a tight bud and watch the transformation of multiple petals before your eyes, it is truly a beautiful flower that blooms for 6-8 days.