F.C. Stern A Study of the Genus Paeonia
18. P.daurica Andrews Bot. ReP. 7, t. 486 (1807); Alton. Hort. Kew. Ed. 2, 3,317 (1811); Bot. Mag. t. 1441 (1812) ; Bonpland, Descr. Pl. Rar. Malm. t. 9 (1813) ; DC. Syst. I, 391 (1817) ; Anderson in Trans. Linn. Soc. London, 12, 270 (1818); Smith in Rees, Cycl. 6 (1819) ; F. C. Stern in Jown. Roy. Hort. Soc. 68, 126 (1943).Syn. P.caucasica (Schipcz.) Schipczinsky in Komarov, Fl. U.R.S.S. 7, a8, t. 3, fig. i (1937). P.corallina Retz. sec. Bieberstein, Fl. Taur.-Cauc. 2, 10 (1808), 3, 367 (1819) ; Ledebour, Fl. Ross. 1, 73 (1842); non Retz.P. corallina subsP.triternata (Pallas) Busch in Kusnezow, Busch & Fomin, Fl. Caw;. Crit. 3, iii, 10 (1901). P.corallina subsP.triternata var. corifolia (Rupr.) Busch, l.c. 12 (1901). P. caucasica Schipczinsky in Syst. Herb. Hort. Bot. PetroP.2, 45 (1921).P.corallina var. Pallasii Huth in Engl. Bot. Jahrb. 14, 267 (1891).P.corallina var. triternata (Pallas) Boissier, Fl. Orient. 1, 97 (1867) ; Smirnov, Emm. Espec. PI. Vase. Caw. (in Bull. Soc. Nat. Mosc. 1887) 962 (1887) Ascherson & Graebner, Syn. Mitteleur. Fl. 5, ii, 552 (1923).P.mascula var. triternata (Pallas) Gürke in Richter, PI. Eur. 2, 400 (1903). P.triternata Pallas, Tabl. Taur. 52 (1795) et in Nov. Act. PetroP.10, 312 (1792), nom. nud. ; Georgi, Beschr. Russ. Reichs, 3, 1050 (1798), nom. subnud.; DC. Prodr. 1, 65 (1824) ; Ledebour, Fl. Ross. 1, 73 (1842) ; Ruprecht, Fl. Cauc. (in Mem. Acad. Sc. St. Petersb. Ser. 7, 15, no. 2) 44 1869) ; Baker in Gard. Chron., N. Ser. 22, 9 (1884); Lynch in Journ. Roy. Hort. Soc. 12, 435 (1890); Prodan, Fl. Romania, 1, 408 (1923) ; F. C. Stern in Journ. Roy. Hort. Soc. 56, 74 (1931); Saunders in Nat. Hort. Mag. 13, t. P.231 (1934); Komarov, Fl. U.R.S.S. 9, 28 (1937).P.triternata f. coriifolia Ruprecht, l.c. 46 (1869)
Description. Stem glabrous, 36-62 cm high. Lower leaves biternate ; leaflets broadly oblong-oval to orbicular, sometimes obovate, rounded to truncate at the apex, from slightly emarginate to shortly apiculate, glabrous and dark green above, glaucous and sparsely pubescent to glabrescent beneath, margins undulate and somewhat upcurved. Flower 7.5-9.5 cm across )in cultivation to 12 cm). Petals oblong-oval to obovate or orbicular, rose-red. Stamens 1.1-1.5 cm long, filaments yellow, anthers yellow, Carpels 2-3, densely tomentose. Follicles 2-5 cm. long.
Distribution. BOSNIA: Mt. Jamnica, near Vardiste, 860-1000 metres, K. Maly (K). crimea : near the village ; Stavri-Kaja, Wankow and Zyrina (K) ; Simferopol, in woods near Neusatz. Collier (K) ; Kadukei, Munro sy (K); sine loc. Herb. W. Bess. (K) . SAMOS: Mt. Kierki, Forsyth-Major 400 (K). asia minor : sine loc. Aucher-EIvy 4019 (K). CAUCASUS: Tiflis, - (K)
Paeonia daurica can easily be recognised by its oblong-orbicular leaflets with undulate and somewhat upcurved margins; this undulation of the margins is an unusual character among paeonies. Usually it has nine distinct leaflets on a lower leaf and somewhat resembles P.mascula in being glabrous in all parts except the carpels, but differs from it in the shape of the leaflets. Also it is diploid whereas P.mascula is a tetraploid.
The distribution of this paeony is not extensive. It is found in the Crimea and as far as the Caucasus Region, with outlying localities in Bosnia and on the Island of Samos.
In the U.R.S.S. Flora, P.caucasica is cited with references to Schipczinsky (1921) Busch (1901) and Ruprecht (1869). This may be the caucasian form of P.daurica which Ruprecht named P.corallina forma coriifolia and which he discribed as having markedly coriaceous leaves which are glabrous or hairy. The specimens of P.daurica from the Caucasus in herbaria are more robust plants and have larger leaflets than those from the Crimea, but all are glabrous. Plants, [end page 70] however, of P.daurica growing at Highdown, which came from the Tiflis Botanical Garden, have short white hairs on the underside of the leaves.
For many years this paeony has been known as P.triternata, a name given by Pallas (1795-1824) without a description, so it becomes a " nomen nudum." Andrews (1807) described it and illustrated it under the name of P.daurica. Huth (1891) suggests that Andrews made a slip of the pen, writing " daurica " for " taurica," as Tauri was the Roman name for the people of the Crimea. De Candolle (1818) quotes as habitat " Dauria " (Sims) and Tauria (Pallas). Although easy of cultivation this plant is not common in gardens, but it is not particularly attractive. [end page 71]