Carsten Burkhardt's Web Project Paeonia - The Peony Library

Li Jiajue (Ed.) 2005, Chinese Tree Peony, Xibei, Xinan, Jiangnan Volume China Forestry Publishing House, 2005. ISBN 7503840404,


Foreword Preface

1 Germplasm Resources

2. The Origin of Cultivars

3. The Evolution of Cultivars

4. Cultivar Classification

5. Cultivar Improvement and Industrial Development

6. Xibei Cultivar Group

7. Xinan Cultivar Group

8. Jiangnan Cultivar Group

9. Other Tree Peony Cultivar Groups


Index of Cultivars Names




Written by:

Li Jiajue

English translation by:

Foreword : Wang Liangsheng Preface: Wang Liangsheng, Shu Qingyan

Introduction: Wang Liangsheng

Chapter 1 : Wang Liangsheng, Tian Daike, Han Xiaoyan

Chapter 2: Tian Daike, Zhang Jingjing, Jiang Zhuo

Chapter 3: Wang Liangsheng, Liu Zheng 'an, Li Chonghui

Chapter 4: Liu Zheng 'an, Han Xiaoyan

Chapter 5: Wang Liangsheng, Li Chonghui

Chapter 6: Wang Chunneng

Chapter 7: Wang Chunneng

Chapter 8: Wang Chunneng

Chapter 9: Wang Chunneng


Planner: Wei Chen Yingjun

Executive Editors: Chen Yingjun JiaMai'e

Designer: Big Forest Workshop


ISBN 7-5038-4040-4

IV. S685. 110.292-64

Copyright® 2005 by China Forestry Publishing House

All rights reserved. Unless permission is granted, this material shall not be copied, reproduced, or coded for reproduction by any electrical, mechanical, or chemical process or combination thereof, now known or later developed.

Printed in the People ' s Republic of China

Archives Library of Chinese Publications Number 2005-089653 International Standard Book Number 7-5038-4040-4 Chinese Tree Peony (Xibei, Xinan, Jiangnan Volume)/Li Jiajue 2005 I .China n . Li in .Chinese Tree Peony (Xibei, Xinan, Jiangnan Volume) IV. S685. 110.292-64

China Forestry Publishing House

7, Liuhai Hutong, West City District,Beijing, P.R. China, 100009

Tel: 86 010 66184477

Fax: 86 010 66180373




This book - Chinese Tree Peony (Xibei, Xinan, Jiangnan Volume) has been prepared for many years. I am now very pleased to read its manuscripts, the book being to be published to the public recently.

Tree-peony or Mudan is Chinese famous traditional flowering shrub, including about 8-9 species in total, all indigenous to China. Before the establishment of the People's Republic of China, nearly all Paeonia woody species were nominated by foreign scholars. In recent years Chinese taxonomists, botanists and dendrologists have named more than 4-5 species of tree-peonies. This new phenomenon is important to the world, especially for tree-peony further research and application.

After the publication of Chinese Tree Peony (editor-in-chief Wang Lianying) in 1997, we are anxious to hope the continuing volume including tree-peonies of Northwest (Xibei), Southwest(Xinan) and Southeast (Jiangnan) China be published soon. Now, after 8years' efforts, this new volume is ready to the public. We congratulate very much for this a work of merit completed through many years ' efforts by the editor-in-chief, editors, research-fellows and professors in China.

There are many superiorities in this book. First of all, the contents in this volume involve abundant phases of tree-peonies, viz., morphological studies of the different species and cultivars, division ofcultivar groups, classification of different flower types, karyotype analyses of species and cultivars, etc. all being results of many years' hard-working research.

Another superiority is the strict systemati-zation in this book. Here species and varieties as well as cultivars of different tree-peonies are compiled and classified in order. Before the successive research results were got by Professor Hong Tao, Academician Hong

Deyuan, etc. in the beginning of the 1990s, the classification of tree-peony species and varieties has been not clear enough and quite confusable for a long time. Nowadays the relevant conditions are highly improved and clarified. We are proud of our great motherland, of our abundant germ plasmresources and our diligent and enthusiastic scientists.

I should like to put forward several problems for further discussion. For example, I prefer Paeonia suffruticosaAndr. var. spontanea Rehd. Instead of other names (Paeonia spontanea T. Hong et W.Z.Zhao, etc.). Furthermore, I think that Paeonia rockii T. Hong et J.J. Li is sufficient to cover the so-called Paeonia rockii subsp. taibaishanica D. Y.Hong, so the latter subspecies seems to be unnecessary.

Above all, the new book is a good monograph for studying tree-peonies. This volume has been written for many years and its viewpoints discussed and becoming mature for even longer period considerations. For example, I discussed the problem of tree-peony origin early in the summer of 1986 with Li.J.J.. We considered that Chinese Paeonia suffruticosa cultivars being of multispecific origin instead of unispecific origin. For example, P.papaveracea (now call P.rockii T.Hong et J.J.Li) is not only the original species of Linxia Tree-peony of Gansu, but also one of the original species of North China tree-peony cultivars as well. Thus, a new point of view of multiple specific origins for Mudan is coming to us (Foreword written by Chen J. Y. in Linxia Tree-peony by Li J.J., 1999).

The above is my opinion mostly on the superiorities of the new book. Some problems are listed for discussion at the end of the Foreword.

Chen Junyu February 14th, 2005 in Beijing



Tree peony is one of the earliest horticultural plants in the world. It has been studied for a long time and written in many special anthographies. The contents of above literatures were not comprehensive until two books were published, that was Pictorial Record of Chinese Tree Peony Varieties edited by Wang Lianying in 1997 (Pictorial Record in short) and Zhongguo Mudan Shaoyao (Chinese Peonies) edited by Li Jiajue in 1999. The publication of this book will greatly enrich the contents of the above.

This book has been prepared since 1996. In May of the same year, the fourth annual meeting was convened in Lanzhou by the Peony Association of China (PAC). As the Pictorial Record about Zhongyuan (Central Plains of China) tree peony cultivar group would be finished soon, and then written a book about other cultivar groups was another important task. In this meeting, I was appointed to finish the task with the help of other colleagues. In fact, I started the investigation as early as 1992. It took me more than ten years. There are many reasons for that as follows: firstly, we had not enough funds. Secondly, investigations on the cultivars in many areas were not substantial, the dispersed distribution of them made this work even more difficult. Finally, the florescence of many cultivars was at the same time. All the above reasons made our work even worse. But we never give up, and take pains to finish the huge task. Today, we are exciting when we finish this work and contribute this painstaking work to our well-beloved readers.

Without doubt, we obtain huge achievements after hard working in more than ten years. Today, we can introduce Chinese tree peony completely, systemically and describe it in detail to our readers, focusing on its beauty and limitless prospect. During these years in the work and practice, we have many profound understandings as follows: Firstly, there are abundant germplasm resources of Chinese tree peony, which contains enormous developmental potential. Until recently, we carried out investigations in almost all producing areas of tree peony and collected a mass of first-hand materials. By introducing germplasm from all over the world, we have set up the germplasm resources garden which contains all wild species, and carried out research from several fields. In different living conditions, we were impressed by its strong viability

and plentiful genetic diversity. They are precious treasure presented by nature. Secondly, Chinese tree peony cultivars distribute widely, which make cultivar groups adapt to various environments and are rich in history and culture. At present, tree peony is planted in most nationwide areas. After the nationwide cultivars investigation, we found a number of cultivars which can bear wet and heat, other cultivars which are tolerant chilliness below -40 °C, all above traits open more opportunities for the exploitation and industrialization of tree peony. Finally, cultivars are the base of industrialization, the breeding is needed to be strengthened and deepened. On one hand, there are more than one thousand tree peony cultivars, but the study on biological characteristics of them is not thorough, and there are lack of dominant cultivars among most widely planted ones. On the other hand, the demands from both domestic and international markets compel us to strengthen horticultural nursing technique and to make constant breakthrough in breeding unique cultivars. Currently, in addition to keeping up the breeding, integration and exploitation of existing cultivars should not be loosen, and setting up germplasm resource gardens in different areas is still another important task.

Although the manuscript has been emended for many times after consulting many experts, two main viewpoints need to be explained.

One is that it is eight years ago that the Pictorical Record was published. After its publication, rapid progress has been made on researches on tree peony including cultivars investigation, which made us understanding many scientific problems more thoroughly and deeply, and made it possible to summarize the work on the origin, evolvement, classification and improvement of cultivars, basing on our own research and absorbing new insights. All above efforts make the summarization of this book more academic. The main authors of this book also participated in the writing of Pictorial Record. It is quite necessary to make supplement and revise in the contents according to current research reports.

The other is about how to deal with revision of tree peony taxa. In the Pictorial Record, I wrote it according to my understanding of that time. In this book, based on our investigation and introduction for many years, I introduce them in view of researches and exploitation on germplasm resources. We had given some profound suggestion on the treatments about Paeonia rockii and P. ludlowii, respectively, in 1989 and 1995. Recently, the latest research results have extended the understanding of genetic diversity of Paeonia sect. Moutan DC. (Paeoniaceae), such as the morphological diversity, karyotypic diversity and pollen exine diversity of different intraspecific populations in Paeonia sect. Moutan. It's not easy to gain these understandings. Since 1993, it took us eight years to search for wild red-flowered P. rockii. In May, 2001, we were excited when we finally found them near Yan' an, Shaanxi Province with the help of Li Mingrui and others. We introduce their infraspecific taxa only in related chapters of this book. Similarly, we hold our suggestions on the treatment of integrating some wild tree peony populations into one species (P. delavayi) without considering any subspecies or varieties when we refer to genetic stability of the offspring and the remarkable difference on the flower pigment patterns of introduced species, such as P. delavayi and P. lutea and so on. We also emphasize the significance of some infraspecific taxa with special genetic traits in breeding. It is quite normal that there are different academical opinions, we believe that these questions will be solved in future.

Besides, it should be pointed out that the level of tree peony's horticultural production is low, the base of scientific work of cultivars is weak, and germplasm resource gardens with scientific base are lack in areas such as Xibei (Northwest), Xinan (Southwest) and Jiangnan (South of the Changjiang River). Due to the above limitation, some cultivar series (such as ' Dan Jing Hong'series in Xinan Group, 'Feng Dan'series and 'Hui Zi' series in Jiangnan Group) will be required to do further research through observation, comparison and analysis when planted in the same or similar growth conditions. Valuable cultivars which distribute dis-persedly in various areas are needed to be collected, preserved and exploited further. At the same time, we should try our best to avoid the disordered situation in the denominating of cultivars in different areas.

In the process of the former investigation, study, writing and publishing of this book, supports from many aspects were received. First of all, we should acknowledge supports from the leaders of Forestry Agency of Gansu Province in these years, including director-general Ma Shangying, vice-director-general Zhao Jianlin, the section chief Li Wanjiang ,Chen Haowen, the station master Tian Bosheng. We express our appreciation to professor Zhao Jinzhao, the president and leader of CCP Committee of Luoyang University, the vice-president and professor Dong Yanshou, the dean of Faculty of Environmental and Chemical Engineering, professor Zhou Guoqiang, the subdecanal, prefessor Li Xiliang, the secretaryship Wang Huijuan. We are grateful to professor Wang Lianying, the chairman of PAC, and vice-chairman, professor Qin Kuijie for taking time to view the manuscript and give us many helpful opinions and suggestions. We should Thank Lan Baoqing, the director of National Flower Office of Luoyang City, who offered much convenience and many

aids to our work. Acknowledge Fu Zhenglin, the general manager of Shen Zhou Tree Peony Garden of Luoyang, Senior engineer Huo Zhipeng, the general manager of Luoyang Flower and Tree Company, and Senior engineer Zhang Shuling. Thank Ma Huisheng, the general manager of Ning Wo Zhuang Hotel, for giving us many supports to our investigation. Others comrades who gave us various supports and helps from various areas including in Pengzhou, Sichuan Province, Yan'an, Shaanxi Province, Baokang, Xiangfan, Wuhan of Hubei Province, Yancheng, Nanjing of Jiangsu Province, Hangzhou, Cixi of Zhejiang Province, Tongling, Ningguo of Anhui Province, Kunming, Lijiang of Yunnan Province, Dianjiang of Chongqing City, Shangzhi of Heilongjiang Province, and Linxia, Lintao of Gansu Province etc. They are Chen Zhuo, Zhou Zhongjun, Lu Shaomin, Gao Zhanrong, Shi Chunli, Li Mingrui, Liu Wanyi, Dai Zhenlun, Hu Hongxing, Teng Changjiang, Hu Dingzhong, Zhu Cheng, Wang Dan, Xie Guangbo, Chang Chengyuan, Tian Baohua, Zhang Huasheng et al., they will be engraved in our hearts forever.

We feel great pleasure in expressing our profound respect to professor Lian Yongshan from Northwest Normal University who is a successful botanist of speciological biology. Clear breath and energy was brought in and made our work more creative when he joined in our team with profound theoretic culture and rich practical experiences. In addition, we appreciate professor Sun Jizhou of Lanzhou University for his detailed help.

We appreciate our respected mentor Chen Junyu academician. He has penetrating judgment on the study of flower which often encourages me to improve my work. His dualistic classification of Chinese flower cultivars is an important theory which instructs us to study any horticultural varieties. In summer 1984, when I wrote Chinese Peonies in English in Beijing, he and I always discussed questions exist in Chinese peonies. "Multi-origin Theory"began to form at that time. His ever lasting perseverance and great contribution to the worldwide horticulture career move me. He set a good example for me.

The publishing of this book means not an end of a stage but the beginning of a new one. We still have a long way to go. Because of the limited work condition and academic level, there must be some limitation and shortage. We eagerly hope to gain criticisms and corrections from our respected readers.

August 20, 2003 The first version December 20, 2003 The second version February 20, 2004 The finalized manuscript May 20, 2004 The final recension In Liiyuan of Luoyang University


Foreword Preface

1 Germplasm Resources

1.1 The Origin and Evolution of Wild Species..


1.2 The Status of Wild Germplasm Resources and Their Protection..


1.3 Research and Use of Wild Germplasm Resources


2. The Origin of Cultivars


2.1 The Origin ofCultivars and the Cultivated Variety Group..


2.2 The Development of Horticultural Varieties of Tree Peony in Each Dynasty


2.3 The Study and Use of Cultivar Resources


3 The Evolution of Cultivars


3.1 The Evolution of Flower Color and Blotch


3.2 The Evolution of Floral Organs


3.3 The Formation and Evolution of the Proliferation Flower


3.4 The Discussion of the Evolutional Rule of the Flower Form .. ,..


4. Cultivar Classification


4.1 Advances of Research in Cultivar Classification


4.2 Classification System of Chinese Tree Peony Cultivars.


5. Cultivar Improvement and Industrial Development


5.1 Chinese Tree Peony's Brief Breeding History and Its Development Trend.


5.2 The Cultivar Improvement, Industrialization and Development.


6. Xibei Cultivar Group


6.1 General


6.2 Cultivation Technique.


6.3 Major Cultivars of Xibei Cultivar Group.


7. Xinan Cultivar Group


7.1 General..


7.2 Cultivation Technique.


7.3 Major Cultivars of Xinan Cultivar Group.


8. Jiangnan Cultivar Group


8.1 Genera] Statements..


8.2 Cultivation Technique.


8.3 Major Cultivars of Jiangnan Cultivar Group


9. Other Tree Peony Cultivar Groups


9.1 Yan'an Tree Peonies


9.2 Exi Tree Peonies


9.3 Cold Area Tree Peony




Index of Cultivars Names



Cultivars are special products during people's agricultural activity. They are also important for more agricultural production. As to flower industry, cultivars are also basic and precondition of its great development.

This book is a monograph on tree peony cultivars and resource. It is the sister volume of Chinese Tree Peony published in 1997. That book briefly introduced general situation of Chinese tree peony, and it has related 400 cultivars of Zhongyuan (Central Plains) Cultivar Group. This book is to thoroughly investigate the theoretical and practical issues on tree peony cultivars evolution, and to completely introduce other cultivar groups except Zhongyuan tree peonies.

Paeoniaceae is one of the original families of angiosperm. Section of tree peony is the original group in the genus Paeonia. Analyzing their origin, evolution, classification, distribution, and genetic diversity, is not only very important in Plant Biology, but also in studying the origin, evolution of Chinese tree peony cultivars, establishing the classification system of Chinese tree peony cultivars, guiding cultivars breeding and cultivation. Recently, some progress has been made in investigating the origin and phylogenies of the wild species and cultivated tree peony cultivars. It is comparatively clear in the relationship between the cultivar groups and wild species. This book has initially summarized these issues, and systematically elaborated the multiple origins of Chinese tree peony cultivars, and researched past cultivars evolution. According to the research advancement in morphology and anatomy, investigated the evolutionary development rules of the flower forms of tree peony cultivars, hence, it is necessary for us to make some changes in the present tree peony cultivars classification system.

China is rich in wild tree peony species and cultivars resource, has all advantages for flower industrial developing. Taking advantage of the present cultivars resource and improving the present cultivars are the key stages in tree peony industrialization.

From Han Dynasty, tree peony has been one component of traditional Chinese medicine component; from Jin Dynasty, tree peony has been used as ornamental flower and has been cultivated; In Tang Dynasty (or before Tang Dynasty) tree peony cultivars had been initially formed, and had been carried from South of China to North of China broadly; To Song Dynasty, Zhongyuan Cultivar Group, Xinan (Southwest) Cultivar Group and Jiangnan (Southern Yangtze) Cultivar Group had been formed; In Ming-Qing Dynasty, Xibei (Northwest) Cultivar Group was formed, hence, the basic patterns of four groups of Chinese tree peony cultivars had been established. However, more studies has been concentrated on Zhongyuan cultivars since time immemorial, for example, tree peony of Heze, Shandong Province, tree peony of Luoyang, Henan Province, less studies on other cultivars. This book has filled the blank in this field. This book demonstrated the details of the history, evolution, origin, constitution, ecological habits, cultivation technology and developing foreground of Chinese Xibei, Xinan, Jiangnan groups, and Yan'an subgroup, Exi subgroup as well. This book combined with Chinese Tree Peony published in 1997 and other monographs, shows Chinese tree peony and her developmental level to the world.

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