F.C. Stern A Study of the Genus Paeonia

2. P.suffruticosa Andrews var. spontanea Rehder in Journ. Am. Arb. 1, 193 (1920), et Man. Cult. Trees and Shrubs, 215 (1927) ; F. C. Stern in Journ. Roy. Hort. Soc. 68, 124 (1943).Syn. P.suffruticosa Andrews sec. Rehder & Wilson in Sargent, Plant. Wilson. 1,319 (1913).

Description. A shrub. Stems glabrous. Leaves bipinnate, up to 13-5 cm. long ; lateral leaflets sub-sessile or sessile, sub-orbicular in outline, rounded at base, tridentate at the apex, teeth blunt, about 2-5 cm. long and little less in width ; terminal leaflet more or less deeply and unequally trilobed, sinus rounded, lobes entire or 2-3 dentate, 3 •5-4 cm. long, 4-5-5 cm. wide ; all leaflets dark green and glabrous above, glaucous and sparsely hairy below, the hairs denser at the base ; petiolules sparsely villose. Flower 11 cm. across. Petals numerous, broadly obovate, truncate and wavy at the apex, 5-6 cm. long, 5 cm. wide. Stamens about 2 cm. long, filaments i -3 cm. long, red (?), anthers yellow, pollen yellow. This description is based upon specimen No. 1909, R. P.Licent (K).

Distribution. china : Shensi, 50 km west of Yenan Fu, Purdom 338 (K) ; Shansi, Mountains near Yu-Hiang Hien, Licent igog (K).

W. Purdom found this apparently wild tree paeony in 1910 when he was collecting in the province of Shensi. It differs from P.suffruticosa by its lower stature, by the smaller leaflets which are more or less unequally trilobed with the sinus rounded and the apex of the teeth blunt and the flowers smaller. I have only seen dried specimens of this plant. It is in cultivation at the Arnold Arboretum at Boston, U.S.A. I accept Rehder's view that it can be regarded as only a variety of P.suffruticosa. [end page 43]