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When are peonies in season?

It won’t be long now until we reach peony season again! But why am I writing about Peony season in June, you might wonder?

Peonies are always among everyone’s favourite flowers. They’re popular at weddings because they have a uniquely soft and ruffled appearance, not to mention their exclusivity. They have an absolutely beautiful fragrance, which is a must when decorating, and they’re also limited in season. And isn’t everything limited always a little bit more desirable? If you’re wondering how you can possibly get your hands on these gorgeous flowers in Australia (and in June), here’s what you should know!

When do peonies bloom?

Peony flower in bloom
Peonies have a super short season! They’re only in bloom for about two months. In Australia this is generally from late October until mid-December – which means they’re enormously popular during this time. If you want peonies in large quantities (for a wedding or another event), make sure that you make arrangements to get them because they’ll certainly be difficult to obtain during peony season.

You mean, I can’t have peonies any other time?

Peony flowers on front of push bike
Well, that may not quite be the case. There may be some other crafty ways to get your hands on peonies when they aren’t available during the official peony season. For example, did you know that Luoyang, China is an entire city of peonies? That’s right – you read that correctly. They exported almost $4 million AUD worth of peonies in 2017. And they also do this during the period of time that peonies aren’t available in Australia – June. Isn’t that convenient when you just can’t wait for our official peony season to arrive?

During 2017, China’s Henan Province actually signed a deal with several Australian distributors that allowed millions of peonies to make its way across the Australian border. The growing demand for peonies is making it quite the booming business for the country. In the past, the number of exports has been in the hundreds of thousands. However, now that the deal has begun, they are expected to export around 20 million peonies in the next two to three years.

Are peonies different around the world?

Pink peony flower
With peonies being imported from other parts of the world, you may wonder if these peonies will be of the same standard of Australia peonies. Will they look the same? Smell the same? How is their colouring? What do they mean in other parts of the world?

The peony is, in many ways, a universal flower. In fact, it is known as the “king of flowers” in China because of the way it has been used to depict honor in Chinese culture in the past. They first became popular during the Tan Dynasty – over a thousand years ago. And in 1903, it was even named China’s national flower, although that recognition today isn’t held strongly.

There are a few different types of peonies, but the most common peonies grown in both China and Australia are called Herbaceous peonies. They’re so common in central and eastern Asia that their common name is actually the Chinese peony. If you happen to desire peonies out of season, the ones imported from China will arrive looking just as familiar and beautiful as ever! 

Final thoughts

There’s almost no flower in the world which is celebrated like peonies. With a rainbow of colours and associated meanings such as wealth and honour, there’s never a bad time to feature these flowers at your wedding or on your kitchen counter. No bad time except the off-season that is. Peonies have a short window of time in which they are grown in Australia – late October to mid-December – but if you’d love to have them in your life at other times of the year then you have China to thank. Their peony city of Luoyang graces Australia with a large shipment of peonies to keep us content in the off-season.

Kate x

 


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