Discovering the Meaning: What Does Peony Flower Symbolize

Peony flowers are known for their elegance and beauty. With their delicate petals and vibrant hues, these flowers are a favorite among gardeners and flower enthusiasts alike. But did you know that peony flowers also hold significant symbolism? These flowers are steeped in history and culture, representing a range of meanings that have evolved throughout the ages.

For many people, peony flowers symbolize prosperity, good fortune, and wealth. In ancient China, peonies were considered the national flower and were highly regarded for their ability to attract good luck and positive energy. In fact, peony flowers were often given as gifts to emperors and other important figures, with the hopes of bringing prosperity to their households.

In addition to their association with success and abundance, peony flowers also hold romantic connotations. In many cultures, peonies are seen as a symbol of love, romance, and affection. This is especially true in Japan, where peony flowers are often given as gifts to express admiration or love. With so much meaning behind these beautiful blooms, it’s no wonder why they continue to captivate people all over the world.

History of Peony Symbolism

The peony flower has a rich and fascinating history when it comes to symbolism. The flower originated in Asia and has been cultivated for thousands of years. As a result, it has been given different meanings in different cultures throughout history.

In China, the peony is known as the “King of Flowers” or “Emperor of Flowers”. It is associated with wealth, honor, and nobility. In fact, during the Tang dynasty, only the emperor was allowed to cultivate the peony flower. It was also believed that the peony had medicinal qualities and could cure a range of ailments.

In Japan, the peony symbolizes bravery and honor. It is often depicted in artwork and is a popular flower for use in traditional Japanese gardens. The Japanese also associate the peony with romance and consider it a symbol of good fortune in love.

  • In Western cultures, the peony is often associated with romance, prosperity, and good fortune as well. It is a popular flower to give as a gift, particularly for a 12th wedding anniversary.
  • The peony is also a symbol of femininity and is often associated with the Greek goddess Aphrodite, who was the goddess of love and beauty.
  • During the Victorian era, the peony took on a new meaning. It was associated with bashfulness because the flower’s large petals hid the center of the flower.

In addition to its cultural meanings, the color of a peony can also change the symbolism it represents. For example, a white peony is associated with purity and innocence, while a red peony symbolizes passion and love.

WhitePurity and innocence
RedPassion and love
PinkRomance and happiness

Overall, the symbolism of the peony flower is vast and complex, spanning cultures and time periods. It is a flower that continues to be celebrated for its beauty and meaning around the world.

Cultural Significance of Peony Flower

The peony flower is not just a beautiful sight to behold but also holds a rich cultural significance. In this article, we will explore the various meanings and symbolism associated with the peony flower.

The Peony Flower and Culture

  • In Chinese culture, the peony is known as the “king of flowers” and is a symbol of wealth and honor. It is believed to bring good fortune and is often used in traditional Chinese medicine.
  • In Japanese culture, the peony symbolizes bravery and is often depicted in samurai armor and clothing. It is also a symbol of good fortune and is used in traditional Japanese weddings.
  • In Greek mythology, the peony is named after Paeon, a student of Asclepius, the god of medicine. It is believed to have healing properties and was used in ancient Greece to treat a variety of ailments.

The Number 2 Symbolism of Peony Flower

In many cultures, the number 2 is associated with the peony flower. This is because the peony has a unique and beautiful structure, featuring two sets of petals – the outer petals and the inner petals. This creates a layered effect that is both intricate and elegant.

Furthermore, the number 2 is often associated with balance, harmony, and duality. The peony flower’s two sets of petals can be seen as a representation of this balance – the yin and yang, light and dark, feminine and masculine.

Overall, this symbolism can be seen as a reminder to find balance in our lives and strive for harmony in all aspects of our being.

The Peony Flower and Color

In addition to its intricate structure, the color of the peony flower also holds cultural significance. White peonies symbolize purity and innocence, while pink peonies are associated with love, femininity, and romance. Red peonies are often seen as a symbol of passion and wealth, and yellow peonies are associated with happiness and good fortune.

WhitePurity and Innocence
PinkLove, Femininity, and Romance
RedPassion and Wealth
YellowHappiness and Good Fortune

Understanding the symbolism associated with the peony flower can help us appreciate its beauty and significance on a deeper level. Whether gifted to a loved one or used as a form of self-expression, the peony flower holds a special place in our hearts and cultures around the world.

Peony Flower in Art and Literature

Peony flower symbolizes various meanings in art and literature across the world. The flower’s rich history and cultural significance have made it a popular subject in different art forms, including painting, music, and poetry. In this article, we explore the role of peony flower in art and literature and its symbolic meaning.

Symbolism of Peony Flower in Art and Literature

  • In China, peony is the national flower and symbolizes honor, wealth, and prosperity. The flower has been featured in Chinese artwork for centuries, including paintings, textiles, and ceramics. The peony’s bright and bold colors make it a popular subject in traditional Chinese paintings, where it represents spring and new beginnings.
  • Japanese culture features peony as an emblem of bravery, honor, and good fortune. The flower has been depicted in Japanese woodblock prints, textiles, and ceramics since the 8th century. The peony is also a common motif in kimono fabrics and is worn on special occasions such as weddings.
  • In Western literature, peony symbolizes love, romance, and beauty. William Shakespeare used peonies as a metaphor for love in his plays, including Sonnet 54. The peony’s delicate petals and sweet fragrance have inspired many poets and writers throughout history, including Mary Oliver, E.E. Cummings, and Robert Frost.

Peony Flower in Art

Peony has been a popular subject in the art world for centuries. From Chinese brush paintings to contemporary art, the flower’s symbolic meaning and striking beauty have inspired artists around the world. Here are some notable examples of peony flower in art:

In Chinese painting, the peony is often depicted as a symbol of prosperity and happiness. The flower’s large, lush blooms and bright colors make it a popular subject in traditional Chinese ink paintings. Artists use different brush techniques to create detailed peony flowers, from delicate petals to bold, sweeping strokes.

In the West, many 19th-century artists, such as Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin, painted peonies in their work. Van Gogh’s iconic still life, Vase with Peonies, features a bold bouquet of red and pink peonies against a contrasting blue background.

Peony Flower in Literature

The peony’s beauty and symbolic meaning have inspired poets and writers around the world. From ancient Chinese poetry to modern-day literature, the flower has been immortalized in countless works of art and literature. Here are some examples of peony flower in literature:

In Li Bai’s poem, “Peony Pavilion,” the poet describes the beauty and luxury of a peony garden in ancient China. The poem highlights the peony’s association with wealth, beauty, and femininity.

In William Carlos Williams’ poem, “The Red Wheelbarrow,” the poet compares the red wheelbarrow to a white hen and a red peony. The peony’s vibrant color and delicate petals create a striking contrast to the simplicity of the wheelbarrow.

In the novel, “The Peony Pavilion,” by Tang Xianzu, the protagonist falls in love with a man she sees in her dreams. The peony garden becomes a symbol of their forbidden love and the fleeting nature of life.

Peony Flower Symbolic MeaningsArt and Literature Examples
Prosperity and wealthChinese ink painting, “Peony Pavilion” by Li Bai
Bravery and honorJapanese woodblock prints, “The Tale of Genji” by Murasaki Shikibu
Love and romanceSonnet 54 by William Shakespeare, “Peony” by Mary Oliver

Peony flower’s symbolism and enchanting beauty make it a favorite subject in art and literature. Whether you’re admiring a Chinese ink painting or reading a poem by Robert Frost, the peony flower continues to inspire and captivate audiences around the world.

Peony Flower in Chinese Culture

Peony, also known as the “King of Flowers,” has been a significant symbol in Chinese culture dating back to the 7th century. Its beauty and elegance have made it a popular choice for art, literature, and even as a motif in fashion. As a symbol, peony represents several meanings in different contexts. In this article, we will explore what the peony flower symbolizes in Chinese culture.

The Number 4

The number 4 has a significant presence in Chinese culture, and it is the most avoided number because of its association with death. It is considered an unlucky number because its pronunciation is similar to the word for “death” in Chinese. Therefore, it is best to avoid gifts, addresses, and phone numbers that contain the number 4.

  • In Chinese numerology, even numbers are considered auspicious, while odd numbers are not.
  • The number 8 is considered the luckiest number because its pronunciation sounds similar to the word for “wealth” in Chinese.
  • Many Chinese buildings do not have a 4th floor, and it is often skipped in elevator buttons and license plates.
3Birth, growth, and creativity
5Balance and change
7Intelligence and knowledge
8Wealth and prosperity
9Longevity and achievement

The peony flower has many different meanings in Chinese culture, depending on its color, shape, and number of petals. The Chinese often use peony flowers to symbolize good fortune, prosperity, and honor. The beauty and elegance of peony flowers have made them a popular motif in Chinese art for centuries. In Chinese mythology, the peony flower is often associated with the goddess of love and beauty, as well as good fortune and prosperity.

Peony Flower in Japanese Culture

The peony flower holds a significant place in Japanese culture, and it has been a favorite flower of the Japanese people for centuries. In Japan, the peony, also known as “botan,” is considered the King of flowers and symbolizes elegance, wealth, status, and honor. It also holds a vital place in Japanese folklore, legends, and artwork.

  • Beauty: The Japanese people consider the peony one of the most beautiful flowers and believe that it represents feminine beauty.
  • Wealth and prosperity: The flower was considered a symbol of wealth and abundance and was popular among merchants, shopkeepers, and wealthy families. The peony’s lush and vibrant petals were associated with material wealth and well-being.
  • Honor and respect: The peony was a popular flower used in Japanese tea ceremonies and was often given as a gift to show respect and honor to the receiver. In Japanese culture, giving a peony flower to someone represents the highest honor and respect.

The peony flower’s symbolism in Japanese culture is multifaceted, and it is also believed to represent bravery, compassion, and perseverance. Overall, the peony is cherished by the Japanese people as a representation of life’s values and virtues.

Moreover, the peony flower is also considered the flower of Mother’s Day in Japan. The flower’s beauty is seen as a way to express gratitude and love to mothers, who are considered the embodiment of beauty and elegance.

RedA symbol of good fortune and prosperity, often associated with love and passion.
WhiteSymbols purity, innocence, and new beginnings. It is also found in many Japanese wedding ceremonies.
PinkSymbolizes humility, grace, and a gentle nature. Pink peonies are often associated with good luck.
YellowRepresents happiness, prosperity, and good health. Yellow peonies are also often given as a gift to wish someone success in business.

The color of the peony flower also holds significance in Japanese culture. Different colored peonies symbolize different meanings, and it’s essential to choose the right color when giving as a gift or using as a decoration.

Peony Flower in Korean Culture

Korea has a deep-rooted appreciation for peony flowers, which are regarded as a symbol of nobility, wealth, good fortune, and prosperity. The peony flower is also one of the most popular flowers used in traditional Korean art, and can be seen in various forms of pottery, embroidery, painting, and textiles.

  • In Korean culture, the peony flower is believed to represent love, romance, and prosperity. It is often given as a gift to couples on their wedding day, symbolizing a long and happy marriage.
  • According to Korean mythology, the peony flower is associated with the goddess SeoWangMo, the queen of the underworld who is responsible for the afterlife. She is said to use peony flowers to create a bridge between the living and the dead.
  • Peony flowers are also commonly used in traditional Korean medicine. The roots of the peony plant have been used for centuries to treat various health conditions, such as menstrual cramps, joint pain, and digestive issues.

The peony flower is so popular in Korea that it even has its own festival, held annually in the city of Incheon. The Incheon Peony Festival showcases the beauty of the peony flower and its significance in Korean culture, through various exhibits, performances, and activities.

Peony Flower ColorMeaning in Korean Culture
RedGood fortune, luck, and prosperity
WhiteModesty, feminine beauty, and purity
PinkLove, romance, and happiness
PurpleHonor, respect, and wealth

Peony flowers have a deep and meaningful role in Korean culture, representing love, happiness, prosperity, and good fortune. Their beauty and significance can be seen in various aspects of Korean art, medicine, mythology, and festivals. The peony flower truly embodies the essence of Korean culture and traditions.

Peony Flower in Greek Mythology

The peony flower has been a part of Greek mythology and culture for thousands of years. It is believed to symbolize wealth, honor, and the power of healing. According to legend, the peony takes its name from the Greek god Paeon, who was a student of the famous healer Asclepius.

Paeon was given a root from the heavens that could cure any wound or illness, and he used it to heal not only humans but also gods. The jealous Asclepius became angry with Paeon and tried to kill him, but Zeus saved him by turning him into the beautiful peony flower.

  • In Greek mythology, peonies are associated with the goddess Aphrodite, who is also known as the goddess of love, beauty, and fertility. The peony was her favorite flower and was often depicted in her artwork.
  • Peonies are also believed to have been used in ancient Greece to make perfume and were said to have healing properties that could help with anxiety and depression.
  • The peony was also a favorite of Alexander the Great, who was said to have discovered them growing in the gardens of Persia. He brought them back to Greece and planted them in his own gardens.

Today, the peony remains a beloved symbol of Greek mythology and culture. Its stunning beauty and healing properties continue to captivate people all over the world.

But perhaps the most interesting aspect of the peony flower is the number 7, which is associated with it in Greek mythology. The mesmerizing peony has been linked to the number 7 for millennia since seven was thought to be a lucky number in ancient Greece. The peony’s striking seven petals and seven leaves are believed to represent perfection and beauty.

Petal ColorsRoman Name
PinkPaeonia Lactiflora
RedPaeonia Officinalis
WhitePaeonia Lactiflora Alba

The number seven is considered, even today, to be an important and lucky number. It is often associated with good fortune, success, and spiritual growth. For those who love peonies, the stunning seven petals and beautiful colors of the flower contribute to a sense of awe and wonder associated with the number seven: the perfect number for a perfect flower.

Peony Flower in Christian Symbolism

When it comes to Christian symbolism, the peony flower has several meanings attributed to it. In the Middle Ages, the peony was believed to have been created from the blood of Apollo, making it a symbol of healing. However, the flower’s number 8 petal arrangement also holds significant meaning in Christianity.

  • The number 8 is representative of new beginnings or resurrection. In Christianity, Jesus rose from the dead on the eighth day, which led to the significance of the number in the religion.
  • The peony flower’s eight petals symbolize rejuvenation, renewal, and a fresh start. It represents the idea of leaving behind the old and starting anew, just like Jesus’ resurrection.
  • In Christian art, the peony is often depicted in scenes of the Madonna and Child, symbolizing the love and nurturing bond between a mother and child.

Overall, the peony flower’s meaning in Christian symbolism is one of hope, new beginnings, and a fresh start. It represents the resurrection of Jesus and the rejuvenation that comes with starting anew. Its presence in Christian art is a testament to its significance in the religion and its enduring relevance today.

Below is a table of other Christian symbols and their meanings:

CrossSacrifice and Redemption
DovePeace and Holy Spirit
FishChrist and Christianity
LambChrist and Sacrifice

As can be seen, Christian symbolism is rich and varied, with each symbol holding deep meaning and significance. The peony flower is just one of the many symbols that represent hope, faith, and renewal in this religion.

Peony Flower in Feng Shui

The peony flower is highly regarded in Chinese culture, particularly in Feng Shui, as it embodies the quintessential qualities of beauty, elegance, prosperity, and good fortune. It is believed that the peony flower can attract good luck and wealth, and promoting positive energy and harmony in living spaces and workplaces. In this article, we will discuss the peony flower’s symbolism in Feng Shui, specifically highlighting the number 9.

The significance of the number 9

In Feng Shui, numbers hold significant meanings and associations as they are believed to impact the energy flow and balance in a space. The number 9 is particularly auspicious as it is associated with prosperity, longevity, and completeness. It is also the highest single-digit number, representing the peak of success and achievement.

When it comes to the peony flower, the number 9 is important as it is believed to enhance the flower’s symbolic properties of good fortune, prosperity, and abundance. For instance, arranging nine peony flowers in a vase is believed to bring maximum luck and prosperity to the household or workplace.

  • In Chinese culture, the number 9 also represents eternity and celestial power, making it a powerful number for manifesting long-term success and growth.
  • When considering the placement of peony flowers in your living space or workplace, try to group them in sets of nine or multiples of nine, as this enhances the positive energy and promotes a sense of completeness and wholeness.
  • It is also believed that the number 9 can be effectively combined with other auspicious symbols in Feng Shui, such as the dragon, phoenix, and turtle, to enhance their power.


The peony flower is a highly regarded symbol in Chinese culture, particularly in Feng Shui, where it is believed to promote positivity, prosperity, and good fortune. In this article, we have highlighted the significance of the number 9 in Feng Shui and its relationship to the peony flower’s symbolism. Remember to arrange your peony flowers in sets of nine or multiples of nine to enhance their positive energy and promote a sense of completeness and wholeness in your living space or workplace.

BeautyThe peony flower embodies beauty and elegance and is a highly revered symbol of feminine beauty in Chinese culture.
ProsperityThe peony flower is believed to attract wealth and prosperity, and is often associated with success and good fortune.
Positive energyPeony flowers are believed to promote positive energy and harmony in living spaces and workplaces by balancing the flow of energy and encouraging growth and vitality.

When selecting peony flowers for your living space or workplace, consider their color and placement, as these can also impact their symbolic properties. For instance, red peony flowers are believed to attract love and romance, while pink peonies promote growth and prosperity.

Peony Flower in Wedding Traditions

The peony flower has been used in wedding celebrations for centuries. The peony flower symbolizes love, honor, and prosperity, making it a popular choice for weddings. In fact, in Chinese culture, the peony is known as the “king of flowers” and is a symbol of royalty and social status.

Peonies come in a variety of colors, but the most popular colors for weddings are shades of pink, white, and red. Pink peonies represent romance and feminine beauty, white peonies symbolize purity and new beginnings, and red peonies symbolize passion and deep love.

  • Bridal Bouquets: Peonies are often used in bridal bouquets because of their beauty and symbolism. They are typically paired with other flowers and greenery to create a stunning arrangement. When selecting your bouquet, consider the color of the peony that best fits with your wedding colors.
  • Centerpieces: Peonies can also be used in centerpieces to add a romantic touch to your reception. They can be incorporated into tall vases or used in low arrangements with candles and greenery.
  • Boutonnieres and Corsages: For a more subtle touch, peonies can be used in boutonnieres and corsages. They can be paired with other flowers or used on their own to create a statement piece.

When it comes to wedding traditions, the peony flower holds a special place. Its beauty and symbolism make it a popular choice for bridal bouquets, centerpieces, boutonnieres, and corsages. Whether you choose pink, white, or red peonies, incorporating this flower into your wedding will add a touch of romance and elegance to your special day.

Peony ColorSymbolism
PinkRomance and feminine beauty
WhitePurity and new beginnings
RedPassion and deep love

In conclusion, the peony flower has a rich history in wedding traditions. Its symbolism of love, honor, and prosperity make it a popular choice for bridal bouquets, centerpieces, boutonnieres, and corsages. Consider incorporating this beautiful flower into your special day to add a touch of romance and elegance.

FAQs: What Does Peony Flower Symbolize?

1. What is peony flower famous for?

Peony is famous for its beauty and grace, and it’s a flower that inspires romance and compassion. It’s regarded as a symbol of femininity, elegance, and luxury.

2. What does peony flower symbolize in various cultures?

In Chinese culture, peony is a symbol of wealth, nobility, and honor. In Japanese culture, peony represents bravery, good fortune, and prosperity. In Western culture, peony symbolizes love, romance, and beauty.

3. What are the colors of peony flowers, and what do they represent?

Peonies come in various colors, such as pink, red, white, and yellow. Pink peonies symbolize love, romance, and beauty; red peonies represent passion, power, and strength; white peonies signify purity, innocence, and spirituality; and yellow peonies symbolize friendship, happiness, and cheerfulness.

4. Is peony flower associated with any specific occasions or events?

Yes, peony is often used as a décor or gift on occasions such as weddings, anniversaries, Mother’s Day, and birthdays. They are excellent for expressing romantic love and affection towards someone special.

5. What are the spiritual meanings of peony flowers?

Peony flowers represent compassion, healing, and positivity. It brings good fortune, peace, and harmony into one’s life and offers protection against negativity and evil energies.

6. Are there any negative connotations associated with peony flowers?

Peony flowers are generally regarded as a positive symbol; however, in Japan, it’s believed that if you dream of peonies, it’s a bad omen. It’s also thought that planting peony in front of the house can invite evil spirits.

7. Can Peony flowers be grown indoors?

Yes, peony flowers can be grown indoors in pots if proper care is taken. Ensure they get enough sunlight and water regularly to keep them healthy and blooming.

Closing Thoughts: Thanks for discovering what does peony flower symbolize!

There you have it! Now you know about the different symbolic meanings of peony flowers. From love and romance to prosperity and nobility, peonies represent positive things in various cultures worldwide. It’s no wonder people gift this beautiful flower to show their love and appreciation! Thank you for reading this brief guide. We hope you found it insightful and engaging. Please visit us again soon for more interesting articles!