Flowers are one of the most popular symbols to represent femininity. For that reason, many women prefer it more than other tattoo designs. It isn’t just meaningful but is also aesthetically pleasing.
One of the well-known flower designs is the peony tattoo. Like the rose tattoo, which comes first on the popularity list, the peony is an elegant design for body art. On top of that, it also has various meanings that will suit every woman. But what is a peony anyway?
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The Peony Flower and Its Origin
For starters, the peony flower can be hard to distinguish from roses and carnations. At first glance, the three flowers might look like each other. Even so, peonies have more petals than roses. On the other hand, carnations’ petals appear somewhat more wrinkly. These three flowers might look alike but their origin, as well as their meanings, aren’t.
For thousands of years, the peony has already been a part of the Eastern gardens, as well as in Europe and Western part of North America. Thus, you may find several stories that claim its origin.
In one of the tales of the peony’s origin, it says that the said flower was named after Paeon, a physician in ancient Greece. According to the legend, it’s believed that he extracted a milky liquid from a flower which then cured Pluto. However, his teacher, the god of medicine and healing, threatened to kill him out of jealousy. Zeus, however, heard about it and saved Paeon by turning him into a peony flower.
Another story, on the other hand, says that the peony flower got its name from a nymph named Paeonia. The myth says that Paeonia seduced Apollo. This, in turn, angered Aphrodite. The goddess of love then turned the nymph into a peony.
In the Eastern part of the world, peonies are admired for their beauty and are considered an imperial symbol. But apart from its majestic beauty, peonies have other uses too. Europe, as well as Asia, use peonies for medicinal purposes too. With all of these mentioned, it’s no secret why peonies are often associated with many meanings. Because of its representations and aesthetics, people got more inspiration from this beautiful flower and later on used as a body art design.
The Meanings Behind Peony Tattoo Variations
The peony contains many meanings. As a flower that you can give to other persons, it can convey honor, romance, beauty, and even bashfulness. Meanwhile, as a tattoo, it generally represents wealth, prosperity, and good fortune. It is also used to symbolize fragility, beauty, and transition. While a plain peony tattoo or flower is already meaningful, its colors can add even more connotation to it. The peony flower has many color variations but here are the most popular ones and their meanings.
In Asian countries such as in Japan and China, the color red is often associated with abundance and wealth. This explains why many people see red peonies as a sign of such traits. Additionally, a red peony tattoo can represent respect and honor, as well as passion and love.
Just like red peonies, the pink ones can also symbolize love and romance too. Because of this pink-colored peony flowers are often seen in wedding events and are an often a part of wedding bouquets.
White peonies are sophisticated. They are also a romantic choice of color and can give off a crisp and clean aura without making the wearer look too feminine. Be careful when choosing this color, though, as it can also mean shame. But you can still use it as a color of your peony tattoo if you are not much particular in its color’s meaning because it can look aesthetically pleasing too.
Peony Tattoo Design and Placement Ideas
The peony is, indeed, a very beautiful flower which can be used as a body art too. While it is a popular tattoo design for men too, it is more commonly seen in women. If you are a woman who is fascinated with this lovely flower and wants to have it tattooed on the skin, here are some ideas for you. Also, we listed some placement ideas for you that will compliment the peony tattoo even more.
There are specific body placements that will definitely compliment a tattoo. If you are looking for a sexy tattoo placement, then a sternum tattoo of a peony flower will surely suit you. Be warned, though, that this spot is not low on the pain scale. Yet, tattoos in this area are easy to hide.
A black ink outline of peonies tattooed on the sternum
A bigger and more intricate peony tattoo in green and peach ink
A peony tattoo with small daisies which appears as if it’s dangling from the chest
A small colored peony tattoo made with the watercolor technique
A big elegant black and grey ink peony tattoo made with good shade work
The rib area is one of the most known spots for a tattoo. Like the sternum, it’s also a good place if you want to have a sexy tattoo. Plus, if it’s placed on the side of the rib cage, it will definitely accentuate your torso.
A peony outline tattoo with shading in grey ink on the side of the rib cage
A big black ink peony tattoo that extends near the sternum and to the back
A sophisticated pink peony tattoo made using the watercolor technique
A big blue and black ink peony tattoo on the left side of the rib
Orange and red peonies with a butterfly tattooed using the watercolor technique
The shoulder cap is also a most preferred place for a peony tattoo. It gives more elegance to the wearer as well as to the already classy tattoo design. Like the previous tattoo placements mentioned, the shoulder cap is also a spot where you can easily hide or show off your tattoo.
An intricate black ink peony tattoo with several types of flowers
Another black ink peony tattooed but is bigger and placed on the right shoulder
A richly detailed pink peony tattooed on the right shoulder cap
Pink and purple realistic peonies on the left shoulder cap
Peonies with a mandala tattoo that looks kind of three dimensional
The collarbone is yet another spot that is ideal if you want that elegant feel. However, don’t expect that this is a good area if you want a less painful tattoo. The collarbone area doesn’t have fats or muscles to protect you from the pain. Hence, the tattooing process will cause you more discomfort. But it will be all worth it.
A black and grey ink peony tattooed on the collarbone that stretches to the shoulder cap
Yellow and orange ink peonies on the collar bones with hits of blue
A classy outline of a peony flower with good shade work
Big peony tattoos on both collarbones with good shading and line work
Another black and grey ink peony tattoo but with more intricate details
The tattoos on the thigh are hidden most of the time. If you need a tattoo placement that won’t obviously show your tattoo often, we recommend the thighs. You won’t have to worry much about your career in the professional world with this tattoo placement as it’s very easy to hide in a pair of pants or even a skirt.
Big peonies with a mandala tattoo that extends from the left thigh to the waist
A woman’s face with a peony flower tattoo placed on the thigh to the ribs
A pink realistic peony tattoo with a small colored bird
A big and intricate yet soft grey ink peony tattoo
Three big peony flowers inked on the right thigh that appears three dimensional
While the wrist is also one of the spots that will give your tattoo a more elegant aura, it gives off a smaller space for a tattoo. Thus, at times, it can be hard to add more details to the tattoo. Still, you should opt for this one too as it would definitely look good too.
A small pink peony on the outer side of the wrist
A beautiful pink peony tattooed on the wrist using the watercolor technique
A soft peony tattoo in pink ink just below the palm
Black ink peonies sitting atop a richly detailed mandala tattoo
Three small realistic peony flowers in black ink on the center part of the wrist
A black ink outline of a peony tattoo with nice linework
Ankle tattoos are gaining more recognition today. However, like the wrist, it only offers a small space for the tattoo. Despite that, it’s good for women who are searching for a small piece that will still allow them to subtly and stylishly express themselves.
A small realistic peony tattoo in pink inked on the right ankle
Another small peony tattoo on the right ankle but in purple ink
Big dotwork peonies in reddish brown, black, and blue ink
A big red peony with purple forget me not flowers
Another red ink peony tattoo but with a more classic design
Unlike the other body parts, the back offers the biggest space for a tattoo. So if you want to go all out with the details, this is the spot for you to achieve the complex design you want.
A light pink delicate peony tattoo with a calligraphy as a stem
A dotwork black and grey ink peony tattoo inside a triangle
Realistic purple and pin peonies tattooed on the upper left part of the back
A big beautiful and detailed realistic peony tattoo on the upper right part of the back
A bunch of peony flowers with butterflies placed diagonally at the back
The upper arm offers a good space for medium-sized tattoos. It is also low on the pain scale. Thus, if you don’t have a high pain tolerance, consider this spot for your tattoo.
A peach ink peony tattoo placed on the right sleeve
A pink and black ink peony tattoo with a skull in the middle
A simple and medium-sized peony tattoo on the inner bicep
Two big peonies with a bird holding a skull necklace
A classy single peony tattoo in pink ink made using the watercolor technique
The waist is yet another perfect spot to situate a tattoo. However, you have to carefully choose the right tattoo design so it can accentuate your hips more.
Realistic red and peach peonies on the left side of the waist
A black ink peony on the center of the waist
A chain of black in peonies on the center of the waist
A large peony tattooed on the side of the waist with a realistic skull on the center
Another realistic chain of peonies on the side of the waist area
While this list seems to focus more on tattoos for women, note that it can work for men too. You can still pair it with various symbols and play with different colors to match your gender preference and the meaning that you want to convey. If you want to see more samples, especially for men, don’t forget to tell us in the comment section below.