Remarks over new peonies, which are found in the Caucasus
Trud. Tifl. Bot.Sad. 1897 II. No.12 p.281-284
Translation from the Russian by Dr.Carsten Burkhardt, Kolkwitz deutscher Text
In last time a large collection of yellow peonies was gathered in the botanical garden of Tiflis, which the garden has received from different regions of the Caucasus. The observation of these living plants gave us the possibility, to ascertain with safety, that one can not put them all in relationship to Paeonia Wittmaniana Steven, which is up to now the only representative of the species Paeonia in the Caucasus with yellow flowers.
We can not agree with N. M. Albow (Materials to the flora of Colchidia" in Negotiations of the botanical garden of Tiflis, Vol. 1 [Trud. Tiflis. Bot. Sada]), which the addressed peonies associates to P.corallina Retz.; they differ from it essentially in all parts: in the form, the color and the hairiness of the fruits, in the form of the blossoms, in position and tomentum of the fruits. That yields a sufficient right, to agree with Baillon, which arranged P.Wittmanniana in an own section (Baillon, Monographie des Renonculacées, p. 65).
In Spiski rastenii Talysha" (Trudy Tifl.Bot. Sada, vyd. 1 [list of the plants the Talysch]) P. Wittmanniana Stev. var. tomentosa was mentioned from us, which differs in the essential of the form only through the tomentum of the fruit and their reflexed form.
[With high probability is the plant mentioned by us from the Talysch identically with P. Wittmanniana from Persia (Gilian), which described Buhse (Verzeichnis der in Transcaucasien und Persien gesammelten Pflanzen, p. 8)]. Besides this form in our garden are still found: a typical P. Wittmanniana from the environment of Atzkur, where this plant was discovered first, a paeonia from the place Lagodechi of L. F.Mlokosewitsch and a plant from Adzharia of N. M. Albow. We hold the both latter forms for two new kinds, because they are themselves clearly distinguished from P. Wittmanniana Stev.. The latter from both was described by N. M.Albow as P. corallina var. Wittmanniana forma macrophylla.
Follows shortly their description .
1) Paeonia macrophylla Lomak. ( P. corallina Retz. var. Wittmanniana forma macrophylla N. Albow in Mater. dlja Flo. Kolch.). Foliis amplis membranaceis concoloribus lucido viridibus, biternatis, foliolis maximis ovatis, obovatis vel oblongis, apice longiuscale acuminatis, subtus ad nervos primarios parum pubescentibus, floribus albis vix flavescentibus, petalis magnis patulis, carpellis magnis arcuato patentibus puberulis vel glabris. Ab omnibus Paeoniis facile dignoscitur foliis maximis nitidis concoloribus et petalis albis maximis. (Caucasus, Adjaria, Albow).The leaves are large, delicately leathery, on both sides gleaming, lightgreen, biternate; the segments are altogether large, oval, conversely oval or oblong, at the top long -acute; on the lower surface along the mean nerves slightly hairy; the blossoms are white or with yellowish ticket, the petals are large, concave; the sepals large, arched struck back, bald or hardly fluffily.
From all peonies it differs in the whole through their large gleaming leaves and the large white outspread sepals (Caucasus, Adzahria, N.Albow).
2) Paeonia Mlokosewitschi Lomak. Foliis biternatis, foliolis oblongis, rarius obovatis, breviter acuminatis, supra glaucescentibus, subtus discoloribus pallidis breviter puberulis, floribus luteis, petalis patulis, carpellis tomentosis arcpato-patentibus.
The leaves are biternate; the segments oblong, conversely oval, shortly acuminate, above blueish, beneath pale, shortly - fluffily; blossoms yellow; leaves spread out; sepals tomentose, arched back
For comparison we include the description of P. Wittmanniana Stev. , which originates from the place, where Wittmann discovered this kind as first (1840, Atzkur).
Paeonia Wittmanniana Stev. Foliis biternatis elliptico lanceolatis, ovatis vel oblongis, longiuscule acuminatis, supra atroviridibus, subtus discoloribus pallidis, pilis longis flexnosis pubescentibas, nervis prominulis, floribus fere clausis, petalis pallide ochroleucis, carpellis glabris.
Leaves biternate, oblong - lanceolate, oval or oblong, long- acuminate, above darkgreen, below pale with dense tomentum from long bent bristles, the nerves, also the small, are emphasized clearly; the blossoms are almost closed, the petals are brightly- yellow, with glabrous sepals.
P. Mlokosevitschi [sic!] differt a P. Wittmanniana Stev. foliolis oblongis breviter acuminatis nec longe acaminatis, supra glaucescentibns nec atro-viridibus, foliolis subtus breviter nec longe pu-bessentibus, nervis obscuris nec prominulis, floribus apertis nec clausis, carpellis tomentosis nec glabris. P. Mlokosewitschi differs from P. Wittmanniana Stev. through the short and not long - sharpened leaflets, which are gleaming above, and not densely hairy, beneath shortly - and not long - hairy; the nerves come forward on the underside of the leaves only little,not exalted over the web of the leaf; the blossoms have outspread petals, which are not directed up, and, finally, tomentose and not bald fruits.
3) P. Wittmanniana St. var. tomentosa Lomak. (Talysch) est media inter P. Wittmannianam et P. Mlokosewitschi. P. Wittmanniana var. tomentosa from Talysch is an intermediate form between the typical P. Wittmanniana and P. Mlokosewitschi. In the form of the blossoms and the tomentum of the leaves it resembles P. Wittmanniana, in the form of the leaves and the tomentum of the fruit P.Mlokosewitschi.
This gives reasons to suppose, that P. corallina and P. Wittmanniana are able to form hybrids. In the botanical garden of Tiflis is found a copy, which in the foliage descends probably from P. Wittmanniana, but in the petalen and fruit resembles however P.corallina.
We hope, that with these remarks the question of the yellow peonies from the Caucasus is answered. To our regret the new monograph over the peonies of Huth [Botanische Jahrbücher Engler XIV Band, 1892. E. Huth, Monograph. d. Gattung Paeonia.] produced nothing for the solution of this question, although already Ruprecht mentioned the contradictions in the descriptions of P. Wittmanniana through Steven and Hartwiss (Rupr. Fl. Cauc. p. 47) .
Finally a short tabular summary of the caucasian peonies:
1. Blossoms white or yellow
2. Leaflets divided in narrow linealic segments
.....P. tenuifolia L.
Leaflets triternate, segments broad
..... P. corallina Retz
3. Leaces large, on both surface green, glaucous with short yellowish tomentum, blossoms white.
.....P. macrophylla Lomak.
Leaves beneath pale
4. Leaves obove slightly hairy, short-acuminate, beneath shortly hairy, blossoms widely opened, fruits tomentose
.....P. Mlokosewitschi Lomak.
Leaves above darkgreen, below long-hairy, blossoms less opened
5. Leaves long- oblong, fruits glaucous
.....P. Wittmanniana Stev.
.....P. Wittmanniana Stev. var. tomentosa Lomak.