There are a couple of myths surrounding how peonies got their name. One tells the story of Paeon, the physician to the gods in Greek mythology, who used the liquid of a peony flower to cure Pluto. A second tells the story of Paeonia, who attracted the attention of Apollo, making Aphrodite act out of jealousy and turn the nymph into a peony flower.
In both legends, the peony is linked to healing and attraction, and since the Chinese word for “most beautiful” also translates to “peony,” it makes sense that they are known to symbolize beauty and love (psst: they’re also associated with honor and prosperity).
When digging deeper into the meaning, however, you’ll find each color actually has its own symbolism behind it. Before choosing which peony bush to plant in your yard, incorporate in your home decor or arrange at your wedding, you’ll probably want to learn a little more about what some of the most common peony hues symbolize, and for which occasion they’re best.