J. Cullen & V. H. Heywood:
Notes on the European Species of Paeonia
Feddes Repertorium Specierum Novarum Regni Vegetabilis 1964 69 (1): 32-35
In the Flora Europaea account of the genus Paeonia a wider circumscription of species than has been customary in the past is adopted. Reasons are given in the following notes on particular species.
P. officinalis L., Sp. PI. 530 (1753)
(a) subsp. officinalis
Distribution: Albania, Austria, France, Switzerland, Hungary, Italy, Jugoslavia.
(b) subsp. villosa (Huth) Cullen & Heywocd, stat.nov.
Syn. P. peregrina var. villosa Huth, Engl. Bot. Jahrh. 14: 270 (1891) P.humilis var. villosa (Huth) F.C.Stern, Jour. Roy. Hort. Soc. 68:129 (1943); A study of the genus Paeonia 106 (1946). ? P. villosa Desf., Tabl. Ecole Bot. 126 (1804), nom. nud.
Distribution: France, Italy.
The combination P. officinalis subsp. villosa (Desf.) was proposed by Ciferri & Giacomini, Nomenclator Florae Italicae Pars altera: Dycotiledones, Fasc. I: 308 (1954) but without reference to the place of publication of the basionym and thereby invalid under the Code of Nomenclature.
P. villosa Desf. which is sometimes cited as the basionym of this taxon is a nomen nudum. huth (op. cit.) does not mention P. villosa Desf. except in the index when he gives "villosa Desf. Sweet = peregrina Mill".
(c) subsp. humilis (Retz.) Cullen & Heywood, comb. et stat. nov.
Syn. P. humilis Retz., Obs. Bot. 3: 35 (1783), Rothmaler, Feddes Repert. 49: 176 (1940); F. C. Stern, A study of the genus Paeonia 104 (1946).
Distribution: Portugal, Spain, France.
(d) subsp. banatica (Rochel) Soó, Növényfoldrajz 146 (1945).
Syn. P. banatica Rochel, PI. Banat. Rar. 48, t. 11 (1828); F. C. Stern , op. cit. p. 72 (1946).
Distribution: Jugoslavia, Hungary, Romania.
The identity of P. banatica Rochel has been the subject of considerable discussion in the literature. Stern (op. cit. 1946) regarded it as endemic to a small district in the Banat and cited only specimens from the vicinity of Bazias in the Romanian Banat, The plant from this region has no bearing on the typification of P. banatica which was described by rcchel from Deliblat (Jugoslavia) and figured by him in Plantae Banatus rariores icombus et descriptionibus illustratae, t. 11, fig.25. According to borza (Consp. Fl. Romaniae (1947) and in litt.) the figure illustrate a plant which is at most only varietally distinct from P. officinalis subsp. officinalis. nyárády (Fl. R.P.R. 2: 401 (1953) and in litt.) also considers P. banatica as a variety of P. officinalis. Soó (1960) has made a thorough investigation of the taxon and concludes that P. banatica is best treated as a vicariant subspecies of P. officinalis, distributed in Hungary, Jugoslavia and Romania.
The plants from Bazias (the basis of stei.n's concept of this taxon) form a variable population and are regarded by nyabady (loc. cit.) as corresponding to P. corallina (P. mascula (L.) mill.) who considers forms with leaves broadly ovate, 1.42 times as long as broad, as a separate variant, var. triternatiformis, so called because of its resemblance in leaf shape to P. triternata pallas. Soó, on the other hand, disagrees with this, but it does appear that some of the Bazias plants identified by many authors as P. banatica are in fact variants of P. mascula.
Viewed as a whole these four subspecies form a geographical replacement complex, extending from Portugal, to Jugoslavia and Romania. Intermediates frequently occur in the areas of overlap between these taxa and there seems to be no justification lot-following Stern in regarding them as different in status.
P. mascula (L.) Mill., Gard. Dict. ed. 8, No. 1 (1768).
(a) subsp. mascula
Syn. P. corallina retz., Obs. Bot. 3: 34 (1783).
Distribution: Widespread in S. Europe and the southern parts of C. Europe: France, Italy, Siciliy, Germany, Jugoslavia, Romania, ? Hungary, Bulgaria, Greece, Russia (West).
(b) subsp. russii (Biv.) Cullen & Heywood, comb. et stat. nov.
Syn. P. russii Biv., Stirp. Rar. Sic. Descr. Man. 4: 12 (1816).
Distribution: Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, Italy, (Calabria).
Stern (1946) recognizes two variants of P. russii with glabrous carpels, var. reverchonii Le Grand and var. leiocarpa (Cosson) Stern. They may be accomodated within subsp. russii as minor variants. The identity of the gathering of reverchon from Corsica cited by stern has caused some difficulties. As frequently occurs with reverchon's collections, the sheets under the same number differ from one herbarium to another.
Those at Edinburgh (E) and Kew (K) possess mascula-like fruits which are truncate at the apex, with a short style, while those at Liverpool (LIVU) and Manchester (MANCH) have coriacea-like fruits with a long tapering apex and a long style. It seems most probable that Reverchon's material was not all collected from the same place but was given the same number by him (a not infrequent failing of his) and there has been a confusion in labelling.
(c) subsp. arietina (Anders.) Cullen & Heywood, comb. et stat. nov.
Syn. P. arietina Anders., Trans. Linn. Soc. Lond. 12: 275 (1818). Distribution: Crete, Greece, Italy, Jugoslavia, W. Russia and Turkey.
As in the case of P. officinalis the variation in P. mascula seems best treated as a scries of subspecies. Intermediates between them occur.