We probably don’t need to tell you how excited you should be about peonies: a classic spring bloom, they’ve been gracing wedding aisles for years. Even if you don’t have a wedding to plan, a peony bouquet makes a lovely choice for fresh flowers, adding a spring pop to any room. When peony season comes around, who isn’t on the lookout for fresh-cut peonies for sale?
But did you know California is home to its very own wild peony species? That’s right – the California peony, or paeonia californica, is a perennial native to the Golden State. For the first half of every year, you can see these striking flowers in chaparrals, meadows, and ridges across California.
All About the California Peony
In classic California fashion, the California peony is one-of-a-kind. Next to traditional peonies – which we still love, of course! – this West Coast native looks like the floral embodiment of a tasteful, darkly glamorous Old Hollywood movie star. While it can be difficult to spot in the wild from afar, once you notice its deep red hue, bright yellow center, and signature downward curve, you won’t be able to take your eyes off it.
Beyond its stunning looks, the California peony also has a rich history in its West Coast homeland, particularly in Native American cultures, including medicinal uses (as remedies for pain, stomach ache, stress, and even depression) as well as in herbal teas.
When is California Peony Season?
A perennial – meaning it grows indefinitely between dormant seasons – the California peony is in season from December to May. So, much like its traditional counterpart more commonly seen in peony bouquets, the California peony’s limited appearance (pretty much confined to spring) adds to its allure.
So when you start to see fresh-cut peonies for sale, look out – it’s time to go wild California peony hunting!
Where to Find Wild California Peonies
As mentioned, paeonia californica loves California’s vast meadows and chaparrals. It takes advantage of rain during cold months to bloom from December to May, before laying dormant during the summer.
One popular place where you can see California peonies yearly is El Moro Elfin Forest in Los Osos. Make a day out of it and check out some of the wildlife at the nearby Morro Bay estuary in San Luis Obispo! If you’re up for a scavenger hunt, you can also check out this interactive map of where the California peony naturally blooms throughout the state. Come peony season, plan a road trip out of it – and get your Instagram filters ready!
Embrace the California Peony: Wedding Edition
Can’t get enough of this native California flower? You don’t have to! For a truly California-style wedding, take advantage of the rustic wedding trend and take your wedding outdoors to a meadow where paeonia californica blooms. Complement the deep, dark hues of this flower in the background with neutral-colored (or even white) peony bouquets for the wedding party.
#PrettyinPeony with The Bouqs Co.
Whether you’ve got a spring wedding coming up or just want to fill your home with fresh-cut peonies, we’ve got you covered. Peonies are fascinating flowers and we can help you find peonies in any season. Ring in peony season with our sustainable, farm-fresh peony Bouqs – happiness guaranteed! If you want to see some peonies outdoors, you can check out these great botanical gardens and flower fields in San Francisco.Shop All