I used to think of peony as an old-fashioned flower, perhaps because peony flowers are often seen in the classic Gauguin and Renoir paintings and in ancient Chinese paintings and drawings.
I also think of peony as being a wholesome flower with the petals suggesting the quality of richness and fullness. Peony flowers can get very heavy, especially in the spring rain, and have to be supported by stakes.
My first three peonies, two pink and one white planted as shrubs about 20 years ago, got a little bigger each year and always produce an abundance of blooms.
Another peony shrub, a new cultivar with rather unusual single red flowers, was added last year.
I added two peony trees a few years ago, one in the back and one in the front. I have been warned that "Once planted, peony likes to be left alone and punishes those who try to move it by not flowering again for several years" and, even worse, that it would not survive when transplanted. However mine survived after the move when part of my back garden was transformed into a zen garden almost three summers ago.
Once established, peony is capable of producing excellent blooms for decades.
Peony was named after Paeon, a physician to the gods.
It is the state flower of Indiana.