Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Peony - Paeonia

The last of my peonies are still blooming, but they will soon be gone. They are growing in a shaded part of my garden, so they are cooler. Peonies do much better in a full-sun location. But my garden has more and more shade each year. I would love to move these plants to a sunnier location, but peonies are kind of finicky. They don't like to be moved and will refuse to bloom for several years if transplanted.

Mine have been in bloom since the middle of June.

I have three different peony plants. They have been in my garden for so many years that I don't remember which species I have. They range in colour from light pink to fuchsia to an even darker pink. All of my peonies are herbaceous perennials, although they can also be a woody shrub. I love their deeply lobed leaves which last all summer and I often use them in floral arrangements when I need some fillers. Peonies have been used in ornamental culture for centuries and are the official flower for several countries and states. They can be dried and used in dry arrangements.

The peony or paeonia is the only genus in the plant family Paeoniaceae. It got its name from Peaon who was a student of the Greek god of medicine, Asclepius. Asclepius became jealous of his student and wanted to harm him. Zeus saved him by turning him into a flower.

Many peonies are fragrant. I love to bring them inside to enjoy their heady perfume! Peony buds are covered in a nectar that attracts ants. I always check them carefully for ants before bringing them indoors. In years when we have a lot of earwigs, I always shake them out. I hate earwigs, especially inside the house! Peonies also come in a yellow variety. It is on my wish list and I hope to add one of them to my garden in the future.
Family: Paeoniaceae. Genus: Paeonia.
Common Name: Peony


  1. One of the neatest things about finding friends through this wonderful blogging world is that we can enjoy flowers we love that have already gone here in the gardens of people like you that enjoy sharing their gardens and their world. And I didn't realize that you could dry them. I'll have to check that out and try it next year.

    I am thankful for you. Just wanted you to know that Hetty...


  2. The peonies are gorgeous. I have one left and noticed today it's dropping it's petals.
    How can summer be going by so fast.

  3. Your peonies are beautiful. I used to have some in my garden in Oregon. I miss them.

  4. My grandmother adored peony roses. She had so many of them. After she passed away my dad went on to propagate and care for them. Your beautiful photos have made me smile and think of my Grandma. Thank you!