I will not trouble thee, my child; farewell.
We'll no more meet, no more see one another.
But yet thou art my flesh, my blood, my daughter;
Or rather a disease that's in my flesh,
Which I must needs call mine; thou art a boil,
A plague-sore, or embossed carbuncle
In my corrupted blood. But I'll not chide thee;
Let shame come when it will, I do not call it;
I do not bid the Thunder-bearer shoot,
Nor tell tales of thee to high-juding Jove.
Mend when thou canst; be better at thy leisure;
King Lear, William Shakespeare, 1564-1616
Mischievious nymphs were said to hide in the petals of the peony thus causing this magnificent flower to be given the meaning Shame of Bashfulness.
In its native China, the Red Peony was considered the King of the Flowers and its rich, dark color and bulbous shape became symbolic of abundance.
Once planted the peony likes to be left alone and punishes those who try to move it by not flowering again for several years. Once established, however, it produces splendid blooms each year for decades.