If you believe in the charm and beauty of legends, you will know that the botanical genus to which peonies belong, Paeonia, was named after Paeon, the Greek god of healing in ancient Greek mythology. Peonies have been known for their medicinal properties since early history, before they began to be admired for their ornamental qualities. They are a valuable asset to our gardens and are a perfect addition to magnificent bouquets.
Our collection of fragrant peonies mainly includes herbaceous peony varieties (Paeonia lactiflora Pall.) and tree peonies (Paeonia x suffruticosa Andrews), two botanical genera native to Central Asia and China.
Herbaceous peonies, also known as “Chinese peonies”, were introduced on French soil in the 19th century and were a source of wonder. Numerous hybrid varieties quickly appeared thanks to renowned horticulturists such as Nicolas Lémon (1787-1837), François Félix Crousse (1840-1925), Étienne Méchin (1815-1895), Auguste Dessert (1859-1929) and Victor Lemoine (1823-1911).
The first tree peonies were brought from China to England in 1789 by British naturalist Joseph Banks (1743-1820), then to France in 1803, to the gardens of the Château de Malmaison, home of Josephine de Beauharnais, Napoleon 1st’s first wife.
The Rivière nursery has been producing plants since 1849 and is specialised in the production and procurement of peonies. The Rivière peonies collection is certified by the French Conservatory of Specialised Plant Collections (CCVS).