Henry Mitchell, an American writer, called peonies “the fattest and most scrumptious of all flowers, a rare fusion of fluff and majesty”. Peonies, native to Asia, Southern Europe and Western North America, have many meanings and legends in their background. They come in most colors and some patterns, but the most common peonies are white, pink and red; they are most often associated with happy marriages, being the traditional gift on 12th anniversaries and a meaningful choice for wedding bouquets. Some say that the large bloom, which can reach ten inches across, also resembles money, thus its relation to romance and prosperity.
A popular superstition dictates that a peony bush in full bloom is indicative of great good fortune on the way. Around the world, the depth of meaning for the peony is even more varied. In China, they represent nobility, and at one time were only allowed to be owned by the emperor, earning them the title of “the king of flowers.” But the name Peony actually is derived from a Greek legend. The young Paeon was a student of Asclepius, the god of healing. Asclepius became jealous of his pupil, and Zeus stepped in to save the young man from his mentor by turning him into a flower – the peony.
When the explorer Marco Polo first saw peonies, he described them as “roses as big as cabbages”. Peonies are extravagant in bloom, and provide opulent foliage all summer long. They are estimated to come in as many as 25-40 varieties, with unique and descriptive names as Stardust, Red Charm, Angel Cheeks and Miss America. These generous flowers make beautiful centerpieces and are a perfect floral arrangement to send in the summer months to exude lush beauty and brighten any space.
Call Bagoy’s Florist today to discuss our selection of peonies as well as other summer flowers that are sure to bring joy to anyone who receives them. Stop into one of our two Anchorage flower shops, or call us at 907.522.1922 for all your floral arrangement needs.