The Legend of How the Peony Became the Queen of Flowers

Dan Skorbach, Contributing Writer

Did you know the peony is the most celebrated flower in Eastern tradition? Her story of dignity has been cherished for thousands of years. Let's find out why.

Once upon a time in the Tang Dynasty, the Empress Wu Zetian was disappointed by the dull winter landscape and issued an imperial decree: “All of the flowers in the royal garden must bloom in the middle of winter!”

The flower fairies panicked. "We should follow the course of nature and only bloom in the spring," they said.

But no one dared to disobey Wu Zetian. The Empress was known to be ruthless.
Although the next day it snowed heavily, the imperial garden was in full bloom.
Delighted, the Empress walked through the garden admiring her own power to command nature. But something was amiss.

Out of all the flowers in the garden, the Peonies refused to bloom.

Enraged, the Empress banished the Peonies from the capital city to the city of Luoyang.

That spring, in Luoyang, the Peonies bloomed beautifully.

When the Empress found out, in a fit of anger, she ordered all the Peonies be burned.

The Peonies struggled in the red fire. Although their branches blackened, the flowers seemed even more dazzling in the glowing flames.

The next spring, even after being burned to the ground, the Peonies bloomed all across Luoyang to everyone’s surprise.

To this day, Luoyang is known as the City of Peonies.

When life gets hard and messy few dare to follow the course of nature, “living in the Tao” as the ancients called it.

Because the Peonies followed the course of nature, the flower fairies declared the Peony as the Queen of Flowers.

And to this day the Peony is the most celebrated flower in the Eastern tradition.

Our latest jewelry was inspired by the dignity and righteous spirit of the Peony.

4 comments

A dear friend of ours visited us this past week to help lend a hand with some work and cooking some wholesome meals around the house as our household was quite busy. On one of the days, she looked in our backyard and was looking at two varieties of Peonies that were in full bloom. She discovered they were edible and incorporated them in one of her salad recipes for us on afternoon for lunch. I decided to cut some fresh blooms and place them inside on our countertop in the kitchen to greet us as we passed by. Our dear friend mentioned that the petals that fall off can then be used in a warm bath to add to its everlasting life and allure…

Brad-Lee July 02, 2020

Are there only the three items pictured the only ones designated towards peonies?

Annette E. March 05, 2020

That was very inspiring ~ I will now look upon the Peony flower with different wonder on their beautiful petals.

Hesther March 04, 2020

Peonies are one of my favourite flowers

Susan Russell March 04, 2020

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