F.C. Stern A Study of the Genus Paeonia

25. P.oxypetala Handel-Mazzetti, PI. nov. Sinensis, P.i, et in Anz., no. 25 Math.-nat. Akad. IViss. Wien, 57, 365 (1921), et Symbolae Sinicae, 7, 265 (1931) ; F. C. Stem in Journ. Roy. Hort. Soc. 68, 128 (1943).

Description. Stem 40-60 cm. high, glabrous. Lower leaves bitemate ; leaflets elliptic, cuneate at the base, long acute to long acuminate at the apex, the tip sharply pointed or blunt, 10-16 cm. long, 3-6 cm. wide, dark green above, paler below, glabrous, of thin papery texture. Flowers about 10 cm. across. Petals pale rose, obovate to obovate-oval, with the apex shortly acute, 4-5-5 cm. long, 2-3'7 cm. broad. Stamens about 2 cm. long, filaments yellow, anthers yellow. Carpels 11 mm. long, conical and attenuated to the stigma, densely covered with silky tomentum of short golden-brown hairs or glabrous.



Distribution. china: Szechwan ; Daliang-schan to E. of Ningyuen, 2700 metres, Handel-Mazvtti 1735 (V).

Paeonia oxypetala is regarded by Handel-Mazzetti as unique among paeonies in the shortly acute or pointed apex of the petals, otherwise it agrees with P.Mairei. Handel-Mazzetti collected this species in the mountains near the town of Ningyuen in Szechwan. On the sheet which he kindly lent to Kew there are two specimens, one with glabrous and one with tomentose carpels which he records he collected in the same district. Handel- Mazzetti's P.oxypetala is maintained as a species on the character of the petal apex, but it seems a somewhat slight distinction on which to accord it specific rank. As stated above it is like P.Mairei in that specimens with both tomentose and glabrous carpels have been found and the tomentum is composed of short golden-brown hairs. It is probable that this plant is a form or variety of P.Mairei, but as we know so little about the species—Handel-Mazzetti's specimens being the only ones known—and as it is not in cultivation, it seems best at the moment to retain it as described. [end page 80]