The Peony is most important in Chinese culture. This stunning flower is an official emblem of China, and it plays a big role in many holidays and religious traditions. It’s the flower with the longest continual use in Eastern culture, and it’s tied in deeply with royalty and honor in those societies. The Chinese name for Peony even translates to “most beautiful”. Oddly enough, it has somewhat of an opposite meaning to Western individuals. Greek myth says that nymphs used to hide their naked forms in Peonies to shield them from prying eyes. This led to the association of Peonies with shamefulness and bashfulness during the Victorian era. It was considered downright unlucky to dig up a shrub of Peony during the Middle Ages due to associations with less than kind fairies.
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