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where are peonies native to

Where are peonies native to?

  • Blog
  • 2 July 2024

Peonies are beautiful flowers that are loved all around the world. But where are peonies native to? In this blog, we would like to tell you more about the history of peonies. Feel free to read on.

The history of peonies

Wild peonies were cultivated in China for their medicinal properties over two thousand years ago. Both herbaceous and tree peonies were used to treat various diseases. These peonies were included in Chinese bencao texts, which documented medicinal knowledge based on nature.

history of peony

Rising popularity of the flower

Before the 11th century, Chinese growers recognized the ornamental value of tree peonies. These flowers quickly gained popularity for their beautiful, delicate flowers. Tree peonies began to appear in various forms of art and became symbols of status, nobility and imperial associations.

Herbaceous peonies also became popular for their ornamental value in China. Growers in China created unique cultivars with many-petaled flowers on strong stems that exuded complex fragrances. By the 16th century, over thirty different cultivars had been named.

Spread throughout Europe into eastern North America

Despite having native species and a history of medicinal use, peonies didn’t gain popularity in Europe until the early 1800s when herbaceous peonies were imported from China. Western peony cultivation took off in France, and the craze spread throughout Europe into eastern North America.

European peony growers developed cultivars for cut flowers. As peonies became more common, their value as landscape plants grew. This made them popular among average gardeners in North America. By 1950, at least ninety North American peony cultivators were registered with the American Peony Society. In 1967, the American Peony Society announced the first successful hybrids between herbaceous and tree peonies. These peonies were called the Itoh peonies. Meanwhile, peonies are cultivated worldwide.

peonies native

Groot & Groot: Order peonies in bulk quantities

Would you like to know more about the history of peonies? Or are you curious about the prices of our peony roots? Groot & Groot supplies peony flowers and peony cuttings in wholesale quantities. We have production locations in Italy, France, the Netherlands and South-Africa. We supply worldwide to growers and (export) wholesalers. Please don’t hesitate to contact us. You can also e-mail us directly: or call: +(31) (6) 110 60 243. We are happy to help you!