F.C. Stern A Study of the Genus Paeonia

26. P.arietina Anderson in Trans. Linn. Soc. London, 12, 275 (1818) ; DC. Prodr. 1, 66 (1824) ; Baker in Card. Chron,, New Ser. 22, 10 (1884) ; Lynch in Joum. Roy. Hort. Soc. 12, 440 (1890) ; Bailey, Stand. Cycl. Hort. 5, 2435 (1916) ; F. C. Stem in Jown. Roy. Hort. Soc. 68, 127 (1943).P.arietina var. Andersoni Lynch, I.e. (1890). P. arietina var. cretica (Sabine) Lynch, I.e. (1890).P.corallina Retz. var. pubescens Hayek, Prodr. Fl. Penlns. Balcan. 1 (in Fedde, ReP.SP.JVoii. Beih. 30, i), 297 (1924). P.cretica Sabine in Bot. Reg. t. 819 (1824) ; Saunders in Nat. Hort. Mag. t. P.217 (1934). P.peregrina Mill. sec. Boissier, FL Orient. 1, 97 (1867), non Mill. P.peregrina var. latifolia Boissier, I.e. (1867). ?P.pubescens Schlosser & Vukotinovic, FL Croatica, 189 (1869). P.rosea Host, Fl. Austr. 2, 64 (1831), pro parte, nonJaume St. Hil. (1809). P. Russi Biv. sec. Halacsy, ConsP.FL Graec. 1, 35 (1901), non Biv.









Description. Stem sparsely villous, 45-75 cm. high. Lower leaves bitemate, with one or more of the leaflets deeply divided, and the leaflets sometimes confluent at the base ; leaflets oblong or narrow elliptic to broad elliptic, acute to subacute, cuneate at the base, green and glabrous above, glaucous and villous below ; petiole villous, densely so at the base. Flower 8-12 cm. across. Petals obovate, red. Stamens 2 cm. long, filaments red, anthers yellow. Carpels 2-3, densely pubescent. Follicles 2-3 cm. long.

Distribution. South-eastern Europe and Asia Minor. italy : Lippiza wood, near Trieste, Bentham 382 (K.) ; prov. Modena, near Cartagneti, from Varana to Sassomereo, A. Mor (K) ; Aemilia, prov. Bologna, Rio Maggiore andJano, near Sasso, Fiori (K). greece : Mt. Helikon, Atchley sow (K) ; Mt. Parnassus, near Carcaria, Orphanides 445 (K), Herb. J. S. Mill (K). bosnia : Praca, Curcic (K); Mt. Rudinica, near Bauja Hyena, 960 metres, K. Maly (K). anatolia : Mt. Ida, near Kareikos, Sintenis 459 (K) ; Kazikli, Whittall 204 (K) ; Kurd Dagh, 1220-1520 metres, Haradjian 1103 (K); Amasya, Manisadjan 1166 (K). armenia : Above Taltaban, Szanschak, Gumuschkane, Sintenis 5591 (K) ; Fstavros, Gumuschkane, Sintenis 1780 (K); Erzeroum, Zorab (K); sine loc. Cavert and Zohrab (K). kurdistan : sine loc. Layard (K). samos : Mt. Ambelos, Rechinger ySOg (K).

Paeonia arietina has a wide distribution, Greece and Asia Minor being the main centres. The species is variable both in the size of the leaflets and the shades of colour of the flowers and also in the hairiness of the stem, petioles and the back of the leaves. The main characters are the leaflets bifurcating into 12 or 15 somewhat narrow segments which are acute or subacute at the apex, with the back of the leaves, petiole and stem villous, and the carpels densely pubescent with short hairs ; the forms found in Armenia and Syria are more densely villous than the majority of specimens. The flowers are usually a reddish-pink but the specimens from Greece are a dark red which, when dried,become a deep chocolate red. [end page 81]

P.arietina differs from P.mascula in the greater number of segments, the hairiness of the undersides of the leaves, petiole and stem, and in the size and shape of the segments which on the average in P.mascula are 5.5-12 cm. long by 2-6 cm. wide and in P.arietina 7.5-13.5 cm. long by 2.5-6.5 cm. wide. Both P.arietina and P.mascula are tetraploids.

P.banatica from Transylvania has been sometimes considered to be a form of P.arietina l but it appears to be somewhat half-way between P.mascula and P.arietina, with some of the characters of each ; the differences between these paeonies are referred to under P.banatica. Huth (1891) considered P.arietina to be conspecific with P.peregrina; it differs from P.peregrina in that the latter is completely glabrous except the carpels. The segments of the leaves in P.peregrina are coarsely toothed and almost acuminate. Also the hairs of the carpels in P.arietina are dense but short, while in P.peregrina they are dense and long. The flowers of .P, arietina open widely while those of P.peregrina are cup-shaped with the petals concave, a special feature of this paeony.

P.arietina is a common plant in gardens and of the easiest cultivation. There is a white form of P.arietina which has grown for many years in the garden of the late Sir Michael Foster, near Shelford, Cambridgeshire. [end page 82]