Peony, symbol of the heroes’ blood, declared national flower of Romania

A bill supported by horticulture experts from Bucharest’s University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine was voted by the Parliament of Romania, declaring the peony the national flower of Romania.

“Peony, from the Paeoniaceae family, is declared the National Flower of Romania. To mark this, national and local events may be organized yearly, also a Festival of Peonies – a horticulture event displaying landscapes using different peony species. Scientific symposiums can also be held, presenting the biological and ornamental characteristics of different peony species, especially the wild ones,” provides the law.

One of the arguments of the law initiators was the peony is associated in the Romanian culture and tradition with the power of love, with sacrifice and with blood. This is why the flower has been chosen by the military to symbolize gratitude and respect for war veterans.

According to the new law, local authorities can offer material and logistic support to nature reserves of Romanian peonies and can take measures to adapt species from other countries to the Romanian climate and soil.

Artists’ unions may organize local painting exhibitions dedicated to the flower and Romfilatelia will issue a philatelic emission to celebrate it.

Peonies in the Zau de Câmpie Nature Reserve, Romania. Photo: Ciprian Cenan

The peony is often represented in Romanian popular creations and almost 100,000 Romanians are named Bujor (“Peony”) as their first or family name. The word can also be found in the name of many Romanian towns.

Romanian species of peony have great biological and ornamental potential. Five spontaneously grow in different regions of the country, in natural reserves protected by law. In addition to the spontaneous species, there are other three which are cultivated in more than 100 varieties.

Due to its high ecological adaptability, peony can be cultivated countrywide, in the most diverse climates and soils, from the field to the mountains.

The proposal to declare the peony a national flower was supported by the Romanian Peony Community, established in May 2015 by Cristina Turnagiu Dragna and Andreea Tănăsescu, the latter being also the initiator of the “La Blouse Roumaine” project. This community celebrates Romanian Peony Day on May 15, during the peony season.

Photo credit: Ciprian Cenan (peony from the Zau de Câmpie Nature Reserve, Romania)

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