The Caucasian Representatives of the Genus Paeonia L.

L.M. Kemularia-Nathadse, Trudy Tiflis. Botan. Sada 1961


Chapter IV

Systematic analysis of Caucasian species of the genus Paeonia L.

6. Paeonia Ruprechtiana Kem.-Nath. h. 1. combin. nova

Syn. P. triternata, forma coriifolia Rupr. Fl. cauc. (1869) 46; var. coriifolia (Rupr.) N. Busch in "Fl. Cauc. crit. Ill, 3, (1901-1903) 12; P. Kavachensis var. coriifolia (Rupr.) Grossh. in "Fl. Cauc." IV (1950) 12; P. caucasica var. coriifolia Rupr. in "Fl. USSR" VII (1937) 29; Kemularia-Nathadse in "Fl. Georgia" IV (1948) 6; var. viridifolia Kem.-Nath. 1. c.

Perennials with branchy rhizomes; the stem is usually 100-150 cm high, ribbed, robust. The leaves are leather-like, green, nearly monocoloured at both sides, lustrious, bare or sparsely hairy from beneath; leaf-lobes are broad and short ovate, oval, nearly rhomboid, shortly and abruptly narrowed at both ends. The blossoms are large, broad-patent, with reddish-pink petals; anthers are yellow, filaments are flesh-coloured, as a whole, or at the base only; ovary is oblong ovate with gold-shining tomentose pubescence formed by unequal hairs, stigmas are flesh-coloured, unsymmetrical with a second (one-sided) broad, wavy brim, nearly equal to an ovary height's half. The fruit is tomentose-downy.

Habitat. From the intermediary to upper montane belt. in shady forest.

Original area. The Kharagaulsky region, near the village Partskhnaly. The gorge leading to Lomis-mta.

Type. Imeretia, the Kharagaulsky region, near the village Partskhnaly, in the forest Tkhmelari 18. IV. 1916. I. Buachidze. The sample is kept in the Institute of Botany of Georgian Academy, in Tbilisi.

Studied samples. Georgia, Imeretia, the Kharagaulsky region, near the vill. Partskhnaly, in the forest Tkhmelari 18. IV. 1916, I. Buachidze!

Kartly. Borjom, II, VI, 1895 Radde!

outskirts of Borjom not far from the Baniskhevsky gorge II. V. 1918!

Borjom, in a forest, near the fortress Petristsikhe II. V. 1918 and 20. V. 1918!

descent from the ridge Dashiris-seri towards the Likansky gorge 8.VI.1920, V. Kozlovsky!

Geographic type. Kolchidia, General distribution. The Transcaucasus. Endemic.

Planta perennials. Rhizoma ramosum. Caulis plerumque 150, 200 cm, altus cylindraceus costatus validus glaber valde folious. Floria coriacea virida utrinque concoloria nitida glabra vel subtus sparse pilosa foliolis late ovatis ellipticus vel subromboideis basin et apicem breviter et abrupte attenaatis. Flores non late aperti magni roseo purpurascentes petala obovata basi cuneata. Anthera flava filamentis carneis in parte superiore flavis. Stygma lata dilatata purpurea. Ovarium fructusque tomentosi pilis flavis obsitis V.

Affinitis. Ab. P. caucasica N. Schipoz. follis utrinque viridis nitidis foliolis forma et petalis rosei bene differt.

Habitatio. In regione silvatica montim. Ainetum.

Typus. Georgia, Imerethi, Distr. Charagouli. Prope pag. Parzchnali. In silva Tchemlari (Ainetum) 18.IV.1916, I. Buatschidze.

Specimina vida: Georgia, Kartii, Distr. Borzhorni prope loc. Petriziche; fauces Banischevi II. V. 1918, inter Likani et monten Daqschiris seriin silva, 20.VI.1920 B. Kozlowsky.

Area geogr. Caucasus, Georgia. Species endemica.

Remarks. This species attracts one's attention with its almost monocolored at both sides, shining leaves which get lustrous after being dried out, and with its nearly rhomboid or broad and short ovate leaf-lobes shortly tapered at both ends. And with all above-mentioned, this species differs quite distinctly from other known red-flowered peonies.

Yet in 1869, studying collections of Radde from Borjom, Ruprecht described a new form of peony named P. triternata, forma coriifolia Rupr; and in 1902, assuming the leather-like consistency of leaves and absence of wax-like bloom on them to be constant characters for the genus Paeonia L., N. A. Busch defined this plant as a variety.

All subsequent botanists adhered to the opinion of N. A. Busch, and only a name of the basic species changes, depending on comprehending of it by researchers.

After Radde, for long time, nobody gathered this plant. But in 1918 and 1920, it has been found by V. L. Kozlovsky nearby the outskirts of Borjom, near the fortress Petristsikhe, in the shady gorge, where this plant was collected by Radde obviously earlier, and in the Baniskevsky and Likansky gorges.

Earlier in 1916, I. Buachidze collected peonies in the "shady gorge" leading to Lomis-mta, at the border with the Borjomi region, in the Kharagaulsky region (in past, it was included in the former Shorapansky dist.). Afterwards, (in 1946), this peony has been described by us as a variety named P. caucasica var. viridifolia Kem.-Nath.

As it was found out later, these two varieties are identical. Besides, some other characters have been discovered which make these two peonies differ from the Caucasian red-flowered peony P. caucasica Schipcz., which are such as, the short broad ovate or nearly rhomboid, abruptly-shortly narrowed at both ends leaf-lobes; the obovate, cuneately tapered at the base, petals; the broad patent blossoms; the gold-shining tomentose pubescence upon ovary, etc.

At present, an area of distribution (habitat) of this plant has been found out and, taking into account a complex of the above-mentioned morphological characters, this peony may be recognized for a self-dependent species, for which I give a name in honour of the famous botanist, academician Ruprecht, who distinguished it from the well-known Caucasian red-flowered peony, implying by words "haec forma coriifolia forsan nova species est" a possibility for his form to be acknowledged for a self-dependent species in future.