The opulent peony has been grown for health and beauty for thousands of years. It’s the floral symbol of China, where its roots are used to treat menstrual cramps and asthma. Chinese paintings of peonies are hung in homes and offices for good fortune. It also symbolizes wealth, honor, and success. With its luxuriant blooms and aromatic flowers, the peony is a symbol of romance and a happy marriage.
In Greek mythology, a mortal physician by the name of Paeon was given a peony flower by Leto, the mother of Apollo. He was a student of Asclepius, the god of medicine and healing. When the god became jealous of Leto’s attention to Paeon, Zeus saved the man from death by turning him into the peony flower.
Each spring, I look forward to the opening of these stunning blooms on my tree peony, pictured here. What’s your favorite May flower?