anyone who has peony’s like our paeonia lactiflora variety known as "mons. jules elie" has no doubt noticed the buds are covered with ants just before they flower. apparently there’s an old wives’ tale that peonies need ants to bloom or be pollinated by them.
but those in the know say that while the ants are attracted to the sweet waxy coating on the bud, antless peonies bloom just fine.
the real question is how the peony’s know to bloom within 24 hours of a torrential rainstorm. i swear it happens every year and this year was no exception.