Peonys, Pineys or Pennies......
What do you call them?
My grandma called them "Pineys". I didn't know any different until I was older.
The real name is Peony.
They are the state flower of Indiana.
Originally they came from Asia.
My personal opinion is that these Peonies are particularly big and beautiful this year, probably because we’ve had plenty of rain and a cool spring.
But they could be even bigger if I had removed the side buds a few weeks ago. My grandma always removed the side buds on her peonies so just the main flower bud on a stem bloomed. She showed us how to do it so we could help. As a result, she’d have peony blooms as big as our heads.
The peony is among the longest-used flowers in ornamental culture and is one of the smallest living creature national emblems in China. It is also known as "flower of riches and honour," and is used symbolically in Chinese art.
Mischievous nymphs were said to hide in the petals of the Peony thus causing this magnificent flower to be given the meaning of Shame or Bashfulness in the Language of Flowers. It was named after Paeon, a physician to the gods, who obtained the plant on Mount Olympus from the mother of Apollo. Once planted the Peony likes to be left alone and punishes those who try to move it by not flowering again for several years. Once established, however, it produces splendid blooms each year for decades (Taken from The Language of Flowers, edited by Sheila Pickles, 1990).
Peonies tend to attract ants to the flower buds. This is due to the nectar that forms on the outside of the flower buds, and it not required for the plants' own pollination or other growth. (My grandma would say thats wrong; she always told us that ants are needed to eat away at the sugary wax on the outside of the buds.)
We "cage" them with a large tomato cage each Spring when they come up from the ground. This keeps them from falling over when the bloom heads become huge.
According to Fifty Flowers, which sells wholesale flowers, roses are about $2-3 each and peonies are $4-6 each... so peonies cost about twice as much.
I love having such a beautiful "gold mine" in my yard. :)