Paeonia officinalis 'The Sultan'

type: [herbaceous peony] – [species cultivar] – [historical cultivar of uncertain origin]

Due to the uncertainity of the historical definitions of Paeonia officinalis, i.e. the fact, that many of the historical „officinalis“- cultivars are now clearly defined as forms of Paeonia peregrina (like 'Otto Froebel', 'Sunbeam' etc.), I have placed this cultivar into this group.

source of the name:

used by A.P.Saunders for breeding (link to Saunders' notebooks)

peregrina/officinalis cultivar

Die genaue Zuordnung von Staudenpfingstrosen dieser Gruppe ist insofern problematisch, daß viele im 20. Jahrhundert als „Paeonia officinalis“-Kultivare bezeichnete Sorten eigentlich Abkömmlinge von Paeonia peregrina sind. Bis in die 1930er Jahre hießen auch die Peregrinas alle Paeonia officinalis. Ich bezweifle, daß ein Großteil dieser Gruppe irgendetwas mit Paeonia officinalis zu tun hat, angefangen bei der allseits bekannten Bauernpfingstrose „Officinalis Rubra Plena“, die entweder ein Kultivar von Paeonia peregrina ist oder (wahrscheinlicher) eine Hybride aus Paeonia peregrina und einer anderen Wildart, vielleicht Paeonia officinalis. Um dieses Zuordnungsproblem zu umgehen, hier die Gruppe „p/o“: Sorten, die im Wuchs, Blütenstellung, Laub und Farbe Paeonia peregrina ähneln bzw. Paeonia 'Officinalis Rubra Plena'. Die Zuordnung zu den Hybriden erfolgt wegen der bestehenden Unsicherheiten nicht.

SaundersAP, 1928 PEONY SPECIES (Other than albiflora and moutan) in: Peonies, The Manual of the American Peony Society, edited by James Boyd © 1928 American Peony Society:

P. officinalis. Southern Europe. This species has been cultivated in European gardens for centuries, and has given rise to a number of. brilliant and lovely varieties. There is much confusion regarding those which are to be traced back to P. officinalis and those derived from P. paradoxa.

Vilmorin ("Fleurs de Pleine Terre") separates two groups under these two specific names; and he states that those derived from P. paradoxa are easily distinguished by the glaucescence (bluish greenness) of the foliage. Unfortunately, Vilmorin does not include in nis list by any means all of the varieties which are, or have been, in commerce.

Since these forms when offered in nurserymen's lists are usually grouped all together under P. officinalis, I have listed them all here, making a separate group of those which, according to Vilmorin, should be referred to P. paradoxa.

A further complication arises from the fact that several varieties have been produced from P. lobata. This is itself to be considered as a variety of P. officinalis, and it is not always possible in the case of named varieties to say whether they should be referred to P. lobata or to the broader species P. officinalis.

Varieties probably referable to P.officinalis:

alba mutabilis

alba plena

atrorubra plena



carnea plena. Syn. alba mutabilis




Eclair. Syn. alba mutabilis

Fire King


incarnata plena. Syn. alba mutabilis

Lize van Veen. Sport from P. rosea superba, which has been recently introduced into commerce in Holland.

lobata : Otto Froebel, Sunbeam

maxima rosea plena



purpurea plena

rosea (single)

rosea pallida plena. Syn. alba mutabilis

rosea plena

rosea superba plena (rated 8.2 in symposium, 1925)

rubra plena (rated 8.6 in symposium, 1925)


sanguinea plena


striata elegans

The Sultan


Carsten Burkhardt's Web Project Paeonia - The Peony Database


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