Prized for its delicacy and impressive beauty, the peony has a voluminous strong perfume and bright color. But despite its outward showiness, the flower acquired the Victorian meaning of "bashfulness." Cultivated in Asia for more than a thousand years and developed further by the French, the peony is available in two main types, the herbaceous and the tree peony (the latter's flowers don't last as long when cut).
A bouquet made solely of peonies can be gorgeous; the flower can also be used to create beautiful centerpieces and arrangements. Grown in single- and double-flower styles, this expensive bloom is seasonally available from late spring to early summer but can be imported in the fall.